Shorter days, falling leaves and tonnes of blackberries

Continued Professional Development is a pretty normal thing for me in September, however this September I found myself on the other side of it, supporting the delivery of a fun outdoor learning session alongside Lucy and Jo.

This day allowed me to pick up a wide range of activities linked to the primary curriculum, some of which could be adapted in my day job. What I found most enjoyable about this day was that the teachers really got into it, unleashing their inner child and playing together - this was something I really hadn't expected (maybe as I have never experienced it in secondary school)!

September has marked the return of wild tots in Holywells Park after it's summer break. The turnout so far has been great, with happy mums and tots with muddy bums as they get used to running around in their first wellie boots. What I have particularly loved about this group is the opportunity to spend time in the orchard, my favourite place in the park.

Wild tots mud kitchen Suffolk Wildlife Trust

This September we grabbed the GPS and the teen home educated group navigated us around the park - our tech savvy pioneers were keen to get from point to point, sometimes forgetting that each location had an attached task. Out tasks centered around the wildlife found in Holywells Park. After a refreshing glass of homemade blackberry lemonade we were all set for the favourite activity of the day; the team camouflage challenge, both teams worked effectively to create decoys to try and outfox the opposition whilst keeping a lookout to check for no spies!

I led both wildlife watch and young wardens in September. Brambles featured heavily in both sessions! With the watch group we considered the brambles as a food source for birds such as robins and created bird feeders filled with foraged blackberries as well as rowan, elder and blackthorn berries. both children and adults were very keen to find the perfect spot in their garden to hang them!

Holywells Park childrens crafts blog Suffolk Wildlife Trust

The young wardens joined us for a spot of pruning in the afternoon as we started work on the kissing gate meadow project. Our efforts are the beginning of the project to return the overgrown area back into a meadow following a period of major growth and reduced management. The young wardens were keen to get started, and to play their part in a park management project, they also found an unexpected reward for the task - many, many blackberries to munch on.

Young wardens Ipswich blog Suffolk Wildlife Trust

I have really enjoyed my internship, the variety of new experiences that I have had and the people I have met along the way have made it a hugely valuable experience. Looking forward, I know that working in outdoor learning is the direction I am looking to take my career. I am going to be sticking around with the Trust as a volunteer for now to continue joining in with the fun and exploring Ipswich's urban wildlife.