Sticks and Stories at Dun Coillich Saturday 23rd June

This Saturday the 23rd June there will be a fun family afternoon at Dun Coillich  community owned nature reserve, not far from Aberfeldy in Highland Perthshire.  Sticks and Stories is a chance to have a go at making magical creatures and kites, to try your hand at dowsing, to look for wild flowers and get involved in some storytelling.  For more information please send an email to

Elderflower cordial

June is the time to go out and collect frothy cream elder flowers from the hedgerows, all ready to make some delicious elder flower cordial.  Either drink it diluted with water or mix a small amount with fresh strawberries or raspberries.

If you are going our for a family walk, take a basket and collect about 30 large heads of elder flowers from elder bushes away from roads, then go home and follow this recipe:

  • Add 1.8Kg of granulated sugar to a litre of water and gently bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Cut the larger stems off the elder flowers and put the flowers in a large bowl with the grated zest of 2 lemons and then slice the lemons and add them as well.
  • Carefully pour the boiling sugar syrup into the bowl and stir in 75g citric acid (available from chemist shops).
  • Cover the bowl and leave for 24 hours.  Strain through double muslin and pour into clean bottles.
  • Store in the deep freeze until needed.

For more elder flower ideas, see our book Nature’s Playground.



Winners of the Wildlife Watch competition to create a stick monster

Wildlife Watch, the children’s wildlife club, held a competition in their Spring 2012 magazine in association with Going Wild.

Children were asked to design a stick creature; you can see the five winning entries on the Watch website here: Each of the winners will receive a copy of The Stick Book.  Congratulations to you all and we love the great stick creatures you have invented!


Garden wildlife

This frog in my garden pond let me get really close to photograph it.  It remained completely still, watching me carefully.  A small pond can be a great wildlife haven, perhaps the best way to attract animals and birds into your garden so you can see them at close quarters. 

Outdoor classroom

Saw this great outdoor classroom in the woods today at Woolley Firs Education Centre, run by the Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT). With just a few logs and planks you can make a magical place for outdoor lessons, storytelling and theatre.

Discovering dens

Just discovered some great dens in the woods. To make your own den collect lots of sticks and lean them against a sturdy branch of a tree or a large log. A natural den is a great place for a picnic or for watching wildlife, and to go back to time and again.

Bike box!

Perfect day to cycle to the local plant nursery for a few plants for the pots on my front doorstep.  It gave me the idea of using some things from the recycled bin such as boxes, cans and tins (take off the label on a baked bean can, use an empty golden syrup tin) as these would make lovely plant containers and brighten up any window sill or patio.  Have a go at making fun planters with your children and send us some photos!