Who Lives In The Woods? (part 2) – Eco Explorers Magnifying Life

Another wonderful adventure to the woods was certainly afoot after my Sons’ Aunt gifted these amazing eco toy magnifying glasses to them.

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How adorable are these! We all wrapped up ready to embrace the cold then we clipped together the new lanyards and I hung them around the boys’ neck ready to zoom in on nature. They absolutely love their new gifts and the boys made the most fabulously cute little explorers I have ever seen!

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Down the path glorified by Norway Maples we began our expedition. What would we find?

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Before we had reached the entrance to the woods we showed some love to the Maple trees that had breathed us life for the past year and whom stood ever humble as the last of their leaves were swept away by the fast approaching chill of Winter.

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It was definitely fascinating for the boys getting a close up of the huge roots and of the overgrowing tree stump belonging to the old tree we watched being felled back in the Summer. There was also some beautiful leaves and green moss to be examined which looked awesome magnified.

Into the woods, greeted by a mushy entrance we squelched through the mud and decided it would be much more fun off the beaten track…

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…we hopped (well tried to) over a ‘sleeping tree’ and that was amusing in itself…

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…and onto the Ivy lands!

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The ground below our feet overlaid with Ivy and a coating of dried crisp leaves was a welcomed change in texture. It was captivating to acknowledge how the Earth uses different life forms and materials to blanket itself.

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After passing under an archway of trees that seemed as if they were reaching across trying to gain closure of the woods from the construction site, we took a mini bypass.

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Back in the baby forest we were greeted by a grand presence of majestic trees. The boys are always amazed by the sheer size of these wonders (me too!). We admired the arches and hollows getting up close to inspect the algae and to take a deeper peek into the life of a tree!

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Through the woods we encountered some truly mesmerizing takes on nature when looking on a magnified level. We found different fungi which were not surprisingly very beautiful when a moment is taken to fully appreciate the fine artwork that has actually gone into them.

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Next it was time to (carefully) lift up a log to to discover what lay beneath! There was not a lot to gaze at if I am totally honest, it must have been too cold for even the bugs to be out although what we did find was amazing. Wow! Upon lifting the old log we were instantly greeted by shiny centipedes which noticing us scurried away but not before I captured these pictures! There were baby roots sprouting all around and a few woodlice that sadly escaped the photograph.

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It was  deeply fascinating for me to see the natural decay of leaves also buried beneath the log. The leaves they were divinely pressed into the Earth’s surface, compacted into whichever they came into contact with by the above weight and it gifted me an awakened view to the nature of true biodegradable matter.

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The leaf, to me, on a deeper level was strikingly attractive too, the mass of its surface gently disintegrating leaving the fine fractal veins that soon will become nourishment for the nearby wildlife. I was immensely captivated – perhaps a bit too much as the little ones had lost interest and were heading out of the woods, over the field to the nearby park. They are at that fun-for-half-an-hour age, not like Mummy who is at the spend-the-rest-of-my-life in the woods age 😉

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This is a great way for children to learn about nature by getting a closer view on it. It is an awesome starting point on how mini beasts live and about what happens down in the roots of life. It turns a walk through the woods into a magical adventure for a child and as a parent I highly recommend you too get a magnifying glass and turn your child into an eco explorer !

A simply wonderful way to spend time outdoors.

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Riverford’s Big Worm Dig at Upper Norton Farm October 2014








We were over joyed to discover that Riverford had an area for the big worm dig at the Upper Norton Farm Pumpkin Day.
As part of a science project to learn more about our soil and the worms among it Riverford set up the ‘big worm dig’ with the intention of getting everyone digging! We intended to help and get stuck in and that’s just what we did! After our efforts at home did not go exactly to plan, being totally mind blown by the variation of Worms that were possible to find and the minor differences between them we were relieved to discover we could still get involved with the help of an expert at our local Riverford farm! Yay!




I just adore the vision of children getting close to nature and covered in earth whilst discovering what our planet really is. Mud washes off! The amount of fun that can be had from just playing in the dirt is amazing. Mud can become anything to a child, stack it up to be a castle or a tower, dig a hole to fill, make people figures or even bury treasure under it! Quite simply mud is life, we eat what grows from the mud of earth then we reproduce and grow using nutrients from the earth, the earth is where our bodies rest and breakdown into when we pass, our body becomes the mud which feeds another, the cycle is continuous making mud life and a huge part of it!
Earth worms breathe through their skin whilst they protect our soil preventing soil erosion. They intake organic matter from all around them, they consume it and excrete it incorporating it into the soil allowing the plants roots to better absorb nutrients and grow more successfully.
There are 4 ecological groups of earth worms and they are: the composters, the litter dwellers, the soil eaters and the deep burrowers. To find out more and to get involved visit Riverford online or visit your local farm.

Once we had decided a time to take part in the big dig, we made our way over to the designated digging area. It was welcoming to see so many families taking part and was a true joy to watch all the little children getting covered in mud looking for earthworms.
There was a slight shortage of shovels as there was so much interest although it wasn’t long before we were handed some to use. The boys had a shovel each and both also had a pot to place the discovered worms into.

It was lovely seeing the boys dig and although they found it quite tough they still enjoyed tossing mud everywhere and greeting the Worms we did find.
The children were very sharing in this task and both Aunty Nat and I actually got a go at digging! Mummy’s knees were nice and muddy by the time we were done, it was totally worth it, I think Easton and I found 7 worms and luckily the ‘Worm Man’ was on hand to help us identify them. Unfortunately the majority of the worms were too small even for him to identify. Alas we had one chunky one that was identified most confidently as a black-headed worm! Woo hoo we had found and named one worm even if it were only that one!
It was a beautiful day and it hadn’t rained much the night before so the ground was slightly dry to have an abundance of wriggling worms. We gave it a good go and when the kids had enough we gave back the shovels, thanked the man for his help, washed up and set off for the ferret racing!

I know the worm dig is in the name of science but I would love to thank the promoters at Riverford for bringing such a new fun activity into my family as this can be enjoyed throughout the whole year after a good dose of rain! The kids can get physical digging and can understand the importance of taking care of the earth and being kind the the creatures in it.

Mud, mud, mud, I love mud, I always say, the more mud a child has on him the more fun he has had!

Bring on the mud bombs?