Families can get closer to nature at festival

Children enjoying West Boldon Lodge's pond.
Children enjoying West Boldon Lodge's pond.

Staff at a South Tyneside outdoor education centre are gearing up for a national two-week nature festival aimed at families.

It will help parents and children get a sense of nature by exploring the world around them.

Visitors to West Boldon Lodge can explore woodland through games, play and educational activities in an initiative running until Monday, November 2.

The centre, which is operated by communities’ charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (Stan), sits in 13 hectares of woods, ponds and meadows, opposite The Quadrus Centre in West Boldon.

Sessions will involve informal learning activities in the site’s wooden lodge and grounds, and are based on Groundwork’s Forest School.

They will allow parents and children to get first-hand experience of nature by playing outdoors.

Tom Mower, Groundwork’s communities team co-ordinator, said: “Parents and children will use all their senses to explore our woodland through games, play and educational activities.

“We are trying to involve families and children of all ages by giving them a taste of the outdoors.

“At the same time helping them to enjoy exploring the woodlands through child-led play.

“Parents and carers are often inspired to learn as a result of being involved in family learning activities.

He added: “The festival champions how important our families and friends are, and that the people closest to us are the ones who encourage and support us to achieve our goals.

“We want families to join us for fun and informal learning activities, in which they can enjoy something different and feel stimulated about the fabulous environment in which they will find themselves.”

Numerous regular activities take place at the lodge, including school visits and child and parent activities which mix learning with fun.

The lodge is situated off the A184 Newcastle Road at West Boldon.

For more information on family learning courses taking place as part of the Family Learning Festival, contact West Boldon Lodge on 0191 536 4873.