Summer adventures

             Summertime fun and inspiration


The trees are finally displaying their greenery, after such a cold spring, and wildlife is playing catch up, with caterpillars munching, birds feeding young, and rabbits playing on the downs.  

My regular groups have been studying the birds and beasts very carefully - my Forest Foxes home ed group were tracking wood ants this week, following them to their hunting grounds. 

I'm a strong advocate of putting names to the creatures we see - and a bit of information or an image with it - it helps you remember and helps connect with nature.  I have been following the development of the proposed GCSE in Natural History (the Eastbourne Schools Partnership is one of the supporters) and this week heard author and producer Mary Colwell​ describing how the naming is the first step in learning about ecology, and how we might need to protect our wildlife. 

To this end, many of you will know of the tree tags I put in my local woods to help identify the birds we hear along the Jubilee Way - so many people loved it!  The next step is the production of an interactive site, with the help of local children, to use in place of the tags.
My amazingly talented friend, the illustrator Adam McNaught-Davis, has almost completed the work, and we will be launching it soon. 

My ultimate aim, of course, is for people to learn to love the wildlife on their doorstep, know what makes it special, and desire to protect it. 
So please look at the link below to see how you can help protect the ancient fields, hedges and woods we love to work and play in, from a new proposed trunk road....  

Come and join me in the woods and fields of Sussex for some freedom, fine food, new skills and lots of wild fun. 


Tree tales 

15 June and 8 August   11am-2pm
Walk the summer woods to learn the native trees, uses and folklore. Make a little identification book to take home and use on your own walks. Enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch home-cooked by Philippa Vine of the Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen and served at tables in gorgeous surroundings.
£45 per person   Bluebell Wood, Arlington 


Wild stitch

​Tuesday 6 July  11am - 2pm 
Explore the summer fields and woods to find colours and seeds to add to your wild embroidery.  Stitch in feathers and other finds.  You'll learn some stitches, so don't worry if you are a beginner!  
Enjoy a delicious lunch home-cooked by Philippa Vine of the Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen and served under the trees. 
£45                Bluebell Wood, Arlington


Lammas growth - yoga

Sunday 18 July 2.30pm - 5.30pm
A celebration of growth, strength and the cyclical wonders of nature. Practice yoga, natural crafts, meditation, bake bread on the campfire.  The session is led by  Zoe Carroll - yoga teacher, mindfulness, life and mindset coach - with support from Sarah.
£35                       Puddingham Wood

Bear hunt
Friday 23 July  10.30am - 12noon 
Bring your bear for a woodland adventure!  Build a bear den for you and your own bear and tell the story of Goldilocks. Cook porridge with summer berries on the campfire. 
£9 per child aged 2-7                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington

Bug hunt
​Friday 23 July  1pm - 3pm 
Come looking under leaves and logs for the tiniest creatures of the wood.  Make a butterfly to take home and something yummy to eat! Dip into the pond to find dragonfly larvae and froglets.
£10 per child aged 2-7                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington


Bluebell supper - 
Forest folklore

Thursday 29 July 5 - 7.30

Dive into the summer woods for an evening of fine food and peaceful inspiration.  Amble through the wood discovering the myths and legends of the plants and animals of the ancient wood, making our way to the supper site.

Here, Philippa Vine of Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen will cook a paella of summer vegetables over the wood fire, followed by a summer berry cake.  Here you can relax and browse my library of folklore and natural history books,  have a go at creating your own story or poem about a woodland character, or simply talk with Philippa and I about all things wood and food.   (I can't wait!)
£45 per person                                                     Bluebell Wood, Arlington


Bluebell supper - 
Willow weave

Saturday 7 August 2.30 - 5.30
Weave some magic in the woods at a peaceful waterside supper.  We will find weaving and winding materials to make a summer crown or wreath, if you like, and learn to make a simple willow platter, which you can eat from.

Philippa Vine of Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen will cook up a grass-fed lamb paella on the wood fire, accompanied by home-made pitta and salad. After a summer fruit pudding, peruse the library of tree, wildlife and craft books and chat with Philippa and I about our passions of cookery and woodland.  
£45 per person                                                  Bluebell Wood, Arlington

The great Gruffalo hunt
Friday 6 August  10.30am - 12noon 
Take a walk in the deep, dark wood to find all your favourite story characters. Make a woodland crumble for the animals and enjoy a tasty crumble made for you. 
£9 per child aged 2-7                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington

The big bad mouse
​Friday 6 August  1pm - 2.30pm 
Follow the tracks with the Gruffalo’s child to find the big bad mouse and make a shadow mouse to take home. Find the mouse’s store of seeds to make popcorn on the fire.  
£9 per child aged 2-7                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington

Dens and dinosaurs
Friday 13 August  2pm - 3.30pm 
Dinosaurs roam these woods! Be a brave explorer, build a den and a dinosaur trap, dig for dinosaur remains, follow the huge footprints, make a fossil dinosaur to take home and celebrate with hot chocolate. ​
£9 per child aged 2-8                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington

Fairy festival
Friday 27 August  10am - 12noon
Make a fairy crown and find your wings to enter the Fairy Festival in the woods! Find the fairies in the trees, and make them a elf garden to take home with you, and celebrate with a tea of cakes and magical potions. 
£12 per child aged 2-9                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington

Wild things
Friday 3 September  10.30am - 12noon
Be a wild child in the woods, sail away to your own special place to build a den and cook on the fire.  Make a wild rumpus and have lots of fun!
£9 per child aged 2-9                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington

Pirate party
Friday 3 September 1pm - 2.30pm
Help build a pirate ship, sail off to an island to search for treasure! 
Cook the treasure on the fire and play pirate games, me hearties. 
£9 per child aged 2-9                                        Bluebell Wood, Arlington


Woodland fungi
​Tuesday 12 Oct & Sunday 17 Oct  11 - 2 
Explore the fascinating folklore and science of fungi, in this gentle amble in ancient wood.
Learn how different types of fungi grow, their characteristics and uses. Discover how the toadstool gets its spots! Then enjoy a
mushroomy lunch cooked on the wood stove.​
£45 per person     Bluebell Wood, Arlington

             To book, email sarah@cherrywoodadventures.co.uk

love where you live - MAKE A DIFFERENCE 

Highways England is beginning consultation on possible routes for a new trunk road which would carve through the landscape adjacent to Abbots Wood and the Bluebell Wood.  To me, this seems a ridiculous idea, to destroy all this wildlife and peaceful countryside, for the sake of saving a maximum of ten minutes on a journey. 
If you have come to appreciate and care for this patch of Sussex, now is your chance to help protect it. SCATE is coordinating a response, but any letter you can write, friends you can tell, posts you can share, will all help.
More information at the SCATE website,

It makes me so happy to hear how I have inspired children and adults to find out more about their local wildlife. My after school club at Motcombe Infants has helped created some new naturalists.
Flo missed it so much, she has started her own nature club.
​This has made my year...


See you in the Sussex summer!         Sarah

www.cherrywoodadventures.co.uk         07887 556336