This summer besides walking with my ecotrailers three days a week I am working with the Lyrath Hotel and Spa in Kilkenny. They have a superb programme for their guests and for their little guests in particular.
I am helping out with the Nature Trails around the estate. I show the children and their parents if they want to come , the magic of Lyrath. This is a wonderfully wooded estate with two lakes. One man-made the other a large natural lake surrounded by lush vegetation, hosting a myriad of wild life. With the children, we forage for safe wild food to eat. We drink Elderflower Cordial on our way and I point out to them the big ,flat white flowers that make the juice they are drinking.
We search for Willow Warblers (illustrated here), Dabchicks, Herons and big noisy Rooks.
We have shrimp nets where we catch ( and release) bumblebees and butterflies and we make a list of all we see.
Speckled Woods, Common Blues, Ringlets, Tortoiseshells and this lovely Dark Green Fritillary With the bumblebees I tell them that we have twenty and then we go hunting for them. It’s fun, it’s outdoors and with children their uninhabited question really make us so-called adults think.
Here’s one from last Tuesday
“Why did you let the world gt messed up?” ” Why are there hungry peope in the world? ” I thought trees were just called trees. So we talk about Elm, Beech, Oak, Holly and and all the creatures that live in their branches ,in the bark and under the roots.Everything in nature has a name.
Working with children as Rachel Carson once said is tapping into that “sense of wonder which unfortunately for some is lost before they reach adulthood”.
Let’s keep that sense wonder going. Show children the magic and beauty of the world and yes nettles do sting, but there’s a reason and yes worms are yucky, but they have a purpose.
If children learn about their environment, their neighbourhood, local plants, birds and animals they will have a respect for them ,all their lives. If they don’t all trees will just be trees and all wild flowers will just be weeds.
So going wild in Lyrath is good, it’s fun, it’s outdoors and there is a “Lyrath” near you ,wherever you live.
It’s the great ,wide, wonderful outdoor world that is all around us. Take a look.