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  1. There is still so much to do in our garden and I think it won't be until next year when it will start to feel finished. But one thing this spring that has been paramount for the children is to encourage some wildlife into the garden. It's so easy to do and doesn't have to be expensive if you look at what you can recycle around you. 

    Nest Boxes and bird feeders 

    We made a couple of nest boxes from milk cartons and sticks – you can see the full tutorial on Wayfair.

    wayfair banner 3

    We also added a few bird boxes and bird feeders from the Wayfair range. Bird feeders can hang pretty much everywhere. We planted a post into a bush and bung a few from there to deter our cat from climbing in the trees and chasing birds. You can also make your own bird feeders using lard and fir cones like we did with the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

    Making a lard & fir cone #birdfeeders (or as Megan said lamb & fur cone ekkkk) @dorsetwildlife

    A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on


    Our neighbour has a lovely pond and we keep finding a few frog escapees in the garden. So Daddy Moo and Charlie used a redundant washing bowl and some rocks to make a small pond. We are hoping to get a bit of frog spawn in there.


    @DorsetWildlife Charlie (7) just built this it's going to be a wildlife pond (it's small but beautiful)

    A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

    Bug Hotels

    invertebrate hotel homemade

    In our old house we had a lovely invertebrate hotel (above) made from a massive wooden wine rack and odds we found out and about. For Charlie's birthday we bought him a ready made one from Morrisons (think it was £3) to get us started. Charlie is working on a project at school to build one. You literally can use anything from old pallets to wine racks – anything that has a stacked shape, with holes you can place things into, such as rocks, moss, shells, broken pottery and bamboo etc. is going to be a winner.

    Hope our bugs can't read!! #bughouse #gardens #wildlifefriendly

    A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

    Planting flowers

    Flowers don't just look pretty but they also attract a plethora of insects – bees, butterflies and caterpillars. Kew Gardens are currently giving away free packets of wild flower seeds.  If you don't have any flower beds then use plant pots - remember you can recycle pretty much everything as long as you add drainage holes and some small stones - old wellie boots, car tyres, plastic containers, china teacups, buckets.

    What plans do you have to make your garden wildlife friendly this summer?  

    The List

    Brilliant blog posts on

  2. We are big fans of Avon Country Park. It's not far from us, parking fees are minimal and you can do the main circuit and play in the park in an hour making it a great after school activity. In the winter there is still plenty to see/do jumping in muddy puddles and checking out the fungi.

    megan rescue

    You can even get rescused! 

    On Mother's Day we went for a walk and after Megan, Olive and Charlie climbed some honey suckle that had weaved together to create rope; we pretended it was Rapunzel's hair (wish one of us had a camera that day!), we popped into the visitor centre. I noticed the Easter activities were all listed and decided to book the moo's on pellet picking. What better way to spend a Tuesday lunchtime than dissecting owl pellets!

    Before pellet picking there was a talk from the guys at Liberty Owl and Reptile Centre. He had a buzzard, falcon and owl and as if on cue a wild buzzard was flying above the park giving a spectacular display of it's mighty wingspan! The girls had wondered off into the play park but Moo had held back in the vain hope he could stroke the owl.

    Moo and an owl #avoncountrypark #libertyowls #easterbreak

    A photo posted by Joanne Dewberry (@charliemoos) on

    We made our way down to the education block and got started. Megan decided to wear gloves, Olive literally looked at her pellet and left! While Moo on the other hand dissected his within an inch of it's life and removed every tiny bone fragment he could find. He actually found some spine vertebrates they were so tiny.

    Owl pellets are hard lumps filled with hair and bones, the parts of the prey they can't digest. They cough them up and although it sounds really gross, it was really interesting! We found shrews, mice and chick bones and after a while you really get excited by what you can find! The barn owls had been enjoying a really varied diet lately, helping them to thrive. Sounds grim but you actually forget that it's chewed up hair and skin and really get into finding the bones! (things only a mother would say!)

     owl pellets

    This is a really interesting activity the children even bought their bones home with them (thanks Avon Country Park!) and only £2 per person.

      Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall