We need your help NOW! Vote for our Dragon in Tesco stores


Following on from the huge success of our living Hazel Dragon in Magdalen Woods, Going Wild have teamed up with Jane Gallagher from OPA, Julian Cooper Oxford City council and Stuart Turner to make another huge dragon, this time woven from living willow in Spindleberry Nature reserve in Blackbird Leys, Oxford.

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Stuart Turner, the land artist who created the first Magdalen wood dragon will also bring this dragon alive so …….

She will be enormous, she will be playful and she will be awesome!  

To make this possible we applied for a grant and are thrilled to say our project has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative!

To win the top prize we need you to vote for us in store!

You can vote in Tesco stores 31st October – 13th November on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 416 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. 

Follow the link to see the Oxford Mail’s article all about it.   http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/14808097.Vast___39_living_dragon__39__coming_to_Blackbird_Leys_beauty_spot/

Bored? Nothing to do? Go outside and build a den this half-term for a chance to win The Den Book!

The Den Challenge…Go outside and build a den this half term.  You can build it in your garden, in the park, in the woods, anywhere you have permission.  Build it out of cardboard, rubbish from the recycle bin, over the trampoline, under the garden table,  throw a rug over a washing line….be creative….have fun!

Send a photo of yourself in your den to us on facebook (Going Wild) or tweet it to @goingwildnet using #thedenbook for a chance to win a copy of The Den Book.  We will be giving away books every month to the best entries.

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The Treehouse School – putting the environment at the heart of learning

Treehouse School

We felt priveleged to meet the people behind The Treehouse School at the premiere of a short film about their inspiring school.  This alternative non-fee paying school is designed around children’s needs and interests and deeply committed to outdoor learning and the environment.  They believe that children are entitled to memorable childhoods where learning is fun and individuality is valued.  For further information see www.thetreehouseschool.org.uk

Streatley Wild Wood is open! A Wild Wood trail to explore and a fun family adventure

If you are looking for an adventure why not go and visit the Wild Wood at Streatley near Goring in Berkshire?  Going Wild have been working on an amazing project, a treasure trail full of adventure.

Your mission is to hunt for the secret codes hidden around the wood. Scan them with the QR reader on your smart phone or tablet.  Unlock the secrets of the wood, discover who lives there, find out some fearsome facts about them and their amazing superpowers! They will give you some challenges, who can do all of the challenges?

Have a go and let us know what you think!!


If you get tired have a rest and make a yummy muddy meal in the Wild  Wood Cafe!IMG_20141007_133957

Look at the Wild Wood Map and explore!


Can you find the secret codes?




HELP! The bluebell wood elves commander is stuck in the big wide world. Spread the word and go and look for him.

Last weekend while walking in our local woods, I stumbled across a small bottle with a message inside, half hidden in the roots of a large beach tree, with the words “Read Me” written on the outside….

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The incredible thing was that loads and loads of people had walked past the bottle that day not noticing it.  The truth is most people walk around in this beautiful world with their eyes closed, even when they were on a walk to look at the amazing bluebells!

LUCKILY I saw it and I am appealing to all of you to help NOW.  This is what the message said ……message in bottle-5



I am writing to tell you about us. Who you might say? The little tiny elfs of the bluebell woods, please try not to step on us.  Anyway our commander is stuck in the big wild world please save him and help us, maybe by looking for him.  Thank you!!!!! from Mrs Bell.”

Can you go out and look for him, it’s half term, that means no school, that means plenty of time to go searching?  Get your friends out, Tweet, post on facebook, use the technology of the big wide world to rescue the commander and get a whole search party hunting!

This weeks screen free challenge is to walk around with your eyes open, look all around, on the ground, up in the trees and you most definitely will come across wonderful things you never knew existed, and you just might find the bluebell wood elf commander!

If you find him, please report back to me straight away (a message on this website will do, you don’t have to leave it in a bottle) and I will go to the bluebell wood and tell the elves.

QUICK we don’t have much time.  The bluebells are dying and won’t come back again till next year!

School found stop saying “no” and removing playground rules had huge benefits!

A school in Auckland NewZealand took part in a University study looking at Play with the aim to try and cut down bullying and tackle obesity.  Instead of saying “no” they removed all the rules and children were aloud to go where they liked and do what they liked, including climbing trees, skate boarding, mud slides and activities previously banned.  http://ab.co/1myJYqX

They gave the the children old tyres and bits of old equipment and left them to their own devices. Bullying was reduced, but also the ‘Kids are not only totally engaged and enjoying themselves but actually doing lots of learning as well,’ says the school principal Bruce McLachlan.

newzealand schoolAmazingly this new approach hasn’t meant that the playground has turned into a scene from Lord of the Flies either. ‘Kids don’t go out to purposely hurt themselves – they manage their own risk.’

Bruce McLachlan says getting hurt is part of growing up but the number of reported injuries has decreased at the school because the children dealt with small injuries and problems themselves because they didn’t want to interrupt their play!

And what if they were covered in mud?  Well they weren’t told “no” don’t get muddy, they were just told, don’t expect to come into class filthy.  Make sure you stop play time early enough to get cleaned up before lessons start!


Save the Wildlife Garden at London’s Natural History Museum

The Civic Realm Design Competition to re-design the outside spaces around London’s Natural History Museum, puts the magical wild garden at risk as most of the finalists’ designs plan to get rid of or re-plant the existing garden.  This will be a travesty as in our view it is one of London’s best kept wildlife secrets.  Here children and families can experience a truly “wild” garden surrounded by the city without travelling miles to the countryside or wilderness and it featured in our latest book, The Wild City Book!

1 discovering wild places-19 If destroyed or re-planted this amazing place will be lost forever, why start from scratch when there already is a well established area of woodland, meadow, pond and wetland habitats?  Since 1995 over 2000 species have been recorded, a remarkable number and not easily replaced unless you wait another 100 years!   We must not forget “Nature” is the best designer of all time and this garden has been lovingly nurtured so wildlife and humans can co-exist in harmony in the city. We think the public is un-aware that one of London’s natural treasures may be lost so we are asking everyone who believes in protecting these special spaces for future generations to write, e-mail or tweets to the jury who will be making the final decision.

Ian Henderson CBE (Chair) – Deputy Chairman of Capco (Capital & Counties Properties plc) and Chair of Natural History Museum Estates and Building Advisory Committee

Abbas Barkhordar – Councillor for the Brompton Ward   Cllr.barkhordar@rbkc.gov.uk

Michael Portillo – Journalist, Broadcaster and former Cabinet Minister michael@michaelportillo.co.uk

Graham Morrison – Partner, Allies and Morrison info@alliesandmorrison.com

Sophie Andreae – Former Head of London Division of English Heritage and Chairperson of the Brompton Association

Dr Derek Langslow CBE – Former Chief Executive of English Nature and Natural History Museum Trustee d.langslow@nhm.ac.uk

Professor Ian Owens – Director of Science at the Natural History Museum i.owens@nhm.ac.uk

Kevin Rellis – Head of Estates at the Natural History Museum k.rellis@nhm.ac.uk

Dr Justin Morris – Director of Public Engagement at the Natural History Museum j.morris@nhm.ac.uk

Malcolm Reading (Adviser) – Chairman, Malcolm Reading Consultants

twitter @malcolmreading

Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum m.dixon@nhm.ac.uk