Welcome to outreach in Ipswich

Hello everyone I'm Jo Meadows, wild learning intern for the Ipswich wild spaces, and this is my first blog post documenting my experiences with Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

This springtime has been a season of huge change; I have swapped teenagers for tots, mock exams for mud kitchens and exchanged my classroom for the open spaces of Suffolk and GO WILD! 

I have had the opportunity to get my head around many of the opportunities and challenges of running learning sessions and events from the back of the van, and the challenge of working with a wide range of age groups. I have particularly enjoyed the diversity of locations that I have been able to explore in sessions, places I know well like Holywells Park and Bridge Wood, as well new places such as spring wood.

The Spring Wood day was a hugely enjoyable event, it had a calm atmosphere, very fitting for a community event in a woodland setting. At our stand we were decorating willow crowns and, in honour of it being hedgehog awareness week, decorating hedgehog doorways. Ali and I even had the opportunity to pop and check the reptile mats and found a little slow worm.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Working in outreach threw it's first major curve ball this week - and of course it was the weather. Teenagers and torrential downpours made for a challenging mix on Wednesday; the incentive to den build was definitely there and they remained surprisingly upbeat despite the weather! Friday was another soggy day in the forest. Palm drilling between swinging in the hammocks and hanging off the rope bridge, was a hugely popular activity for year one and two. Students persevered to drill their holes - 'reciting push and turn' as they went and decorating their necklaces with their forest names.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Our afternoon activity was more heavily impacted by the rain...fire lighting to make hot chocolate. After getting through a whole box of matches and a lot of kindling and we finally lit the fire, unfortunately it was too late to make the hot chocolate!

I have learned a huge amount so far and a look forward to a wide variety of events over what is shaping u to be a very busy summer season!