Highlight of Half-term: Forest School

And breathe!  We’ve just come to the end of a very busy half-term.  For once, I was organised and booked a few activities in for Madame.  She’s been to the local farm, play dates with friends, Play in the Parks Scheme, Spooky Animal Magic and Trick or Treating.  We almost need a break from our break.

However, the highlight for her by far was Forest School in St Albans.  I don’t know if it’s the Canadian in me but when I saw it advertised at school, I knew she had to go as I’m always on a quest to get her outside more.  It was held in a small Wood on the school property and runs rain or shine, so pop some wellies on and wrap up warm.

She came home beside herself with excitement.  They climbed trees, dug trenches for daffodils, carved wood medals using a peeler, made toast on the fire, drank hot chocolate and played on a make shift swing.  She also mentioned a Fire band for her hair but I’d rather not think about that one.

My only regret was not signing her up for the full 3 days, but we will definitely next time.

Disclosure:  Madame’s stylish Hunter Wellies were courtesy of Simply Hike



What is Wellie Wanging?

We just returned from a spot of Tree planting and Wellie Wanging in Heartwood Forest, Sandridge, Herts.  It was a great day albeit freezing cold.  It was a bit of a trek to the wood but we managed it.  We only planted a handful of trees and wish we did a bit more but if thousands of people plant only a handful that still means thousands of trees planted.  Many hands make small work and all that.

The goal for the day was 11,000 trees.  To date they’ve planted 80, 000 with a final goal of 600,000.  It’s a really exciting project by the Woodland Trust you can read more about it here.

In addition, to planting trees they were attempting to break a Guinness World Record for Welly Wanging.  The current world record for men is 63.98m and woman is 40.87

For those of you unfamiliar with Wellie Wanging, it’s a sport that originated in the UK, where participants hurl a Wellington Boot as far as they can.  The record they were trying to set today wasn’t for distance thrown but the number of people who participated.  I truly sucked, wellies are so unpredictable.  I thought it was going to be easy.  I lined up, gave it a good hurl but unfortunately, it went straight up and came straight back down…only a measly 1.4m for me.  I think Madame beat me as well.

Here’s Madame’s Attempt


And the president of the Woodland Trust.  Do you recognize him?  Yes, it’s Clive Anderson from ‘Who’s line is it anyway’ and ‘Have I got News for you’.  I hope he doesn’t mind that I took the video as I honestly had no idea who it was till later.

We look forward to the next planting session but hopefully in the spring when it’s a bit warmer.

Welly Wanging in Heartwood Forest, Sandridge

We are very lucky where we live.  We live in a lovely market town which is steeped in Roman History, it’s only 20 minutes from London by train and we have access to loads of green space; within minutes you can go from being in the city to being in the country.

We recently discovered Heartwood Forest, which is going to be England’s largest new native woodland.  It’s only 3 miles north of St Albans in Sandridge.  The Woodland Trust has acquired the 850 acre site and hopes to turn it from open fields to a wood in just 12 years by planting an additional 600,000 trees and they’re going to need some help.

I just wanted to let you know about the tree planting party tomorrow the 23 of Jan 2011 from 10-3pm.  Full details can be found here.

They’ll also be trying to set a New Guinness Record for Welly Wanging.  I really don’t know what that entails but sounds very interesting.

Our family will definitely be going, rain or shine as the thought of planting a tree for a new forest is truly special.

Note: There is no parking at the site on Sunday but there is a park and ride service being offered from Townsend School.

Pictures will follow.