For the whole week of August 8th-12th the grounds at Hopetoun House were alive with children- it was the annual Wildlife Week! The one week of the summer holidays where kids are dropped off at the Hopetoun Ranger Centre by their parents and left. They pick them up again three hours later, by which time the rangers have taken the kids out into the grounds to do a massive variety of outdoor activities.
The 2016 Wildlife Week kicked off on Monday with the creation of ‘Basecamp’. A secret, quiet area in the grounds was found where everyone worked together to create a woodland den, fire site, seating area, hammock tree and somewhere to call home for 5 days, complete with a camp flag.
Throughout the week as they undertook more and more activities, the kids always came back to check on Basecamp and on the Wednesday, they created a woodland art garden at Basecamp with green men faces on the trees, stick and leaf art and they made their own charcoal from scratch.
The activities weren’t all about about Basecamp and making art, the Wildlife Weekers fed the Hopetoun Red Deer, searched for Dinosaur fossils and made their own fossils but one of the highlights of the week was setting traps to catch live animals. They successfully caught two mice. Unfortunately they got a bit of a shock when one of the mice leapt out of the trap like an Olympic high jump gold medallist and headed straight for the kids heads! You wouldn’t believe how fast a group of 20 kids parts perfectly down the middle when wood mice are flying at their faces.
The week was topped off with a campfire cookout at Basecamp. Everyone learnt how to safely make a fire, they made their own plates from willow and ate sausages cooked in a big frying pan on a Sweedish Fire Log, followed by toasting marshmallows to make tasty smores.
Everyone had a brilliant time and the Rangers are looking forward to planning more fun for Wildlife Week 2017!
Categories: Hopetoun House