Building on the success of last year with the ’50 things’ den building area at Wray Castle, the rangers have been getting creative by designing a natural play trail in the woodlands above the area. Families can venture further off the beaten track and test themselves whilst having fun on ‘natural play’ features. We hope to inspire visitors ever further into the wonderful outdoor space at Wray Castle.
This is the first stage of the development of the play trail for 2014. We will be adding to the finished trail each season based on where children are playing, what has been successful in the previous year, replace any features that have naturally decayed as well as to continually refresh the trail to tempt visitors back year on year.
We had great fun doing research, trying out what other National Trust properties have to offer. Sizergh have a great trail that leads from the car park out into the woods by solving a series of clues, taking you on a fantastic adventure through trees, through walls, over fences and down a rock face! Be sure to go check it out!
Staff and volunteers from the South Lakes Conservation Group began work on the Natural Play Trail last week. When finished, this trail will hopefully have balance beams, stepping stones, logs to climb on and up, a nice rest area and even a spiders web to try to crawl through without touching the web! We started by clearing away the tree roots and vegetation to create a route through the trees and round the woodland.
Our own Foresters milled some larch for the stepping stones and balance beams… we had great fun and got very warm rolling the materials to site!
|Rolling the materials up to site can be hot work!|
The stepping stones and balance beams have to be dug into the ground to make sure they are safe and secure.
|Digging in the stepping stones...|
|Beams to balance on...|
The play trail will allow children (and adults!) to test themselves, push their boundaries where they are comfortable doing so as well as to encourage exploration and interaction with the natural world. .
Watch this space as the play trail really starts to take shape over the next few months…
Look out for other events planned throughout the summer such as ranger-led 50 things activity days and other self-led activities about the castle grounds to help you tick off your '50 things to do'.