child in ancient wood near offas dyke

US President Ronald Reagan famously said “once you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all”. Obviously he hadn’t done our Magic Wand workshop or he’d have been able to tell his ash from his oak, and maybe from his willow, hawthorn, hazel, blackthorn, birch, apple, or elder. Yet an English study found young children in Cambridge were able to name more Pokemon characters than native animals, birds and wildflowers.

Why is this ?   Conservation projects and nature reserves do an essential job but they rarely offer families an experience that can match time spent online, shopping, watching TV or a host of other modern past-times. Modern life is in competition with nature.  It’s not so easy for parents to introduce their children to nature, as it was for their parents or grand parents. Or not as much as they’d like, so we’re here to help.

We create events like the Fairy Fair and The Real Halloween, which give families a great opportunity to discover nature that can compete with mainstream entertainments and the on-line world.

Our Workshops enable children to make something of their own to take home.  Their unique stories draw on real natural history and authentic magical folklore of British plants and animals.

More than eight out of ten adults agree that it is “vital to introduce young children to nature”*. They are right of course because nature is good for you. It makes children and adults happier, calmer, healthier. Children with positive early experiences of nature re more likely to grow up wanting to care for it.

For children who know the names and ways of plants and animals nature is like a book of stories waiting to be read, just as a library is a treasure-trove of imagination. But for a child who can’t read, a library is simply a room of books, and for a child who doesn’t know nature, it’s simply ‘bugs’ and ‘green stuff’.

rev old oak pollard silk wd westonbirt - Copy small

Think of a fairy tale, and you are probably transported back into ‘nature’, and for a very good reason. Our oldest traditions, such as the ‘Holly and the Ivy’ at Christmas, our most loved myths and legends such as Robin Hood of the Greenwood, all come from a time before planes, trains and automobiles, before TV, ‘chemicals’ and plastic, from when our homes were mostly made of wood and nature was always much closer to hand. Almost all children, and many parents, are still intrigued by a good story from the world of magical folk, and much of our folklore is about the powers that our ancestors recognized in native wild plants and animals.

That’s why we blend nature and magic in everything we do. Visit The Real Halloween or the Fairy Fair, or join one of our Workshops, to experience it.  Join us as a Supporter and help us enable more children to discover the magic of nature.

* link direct to the report here

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