This weekend is set to bring fairer weather, so with all the rain and dreary cloud we’ve had lately, why not head out into the great outdoors with the family this weekend for some fresh air. Enjoying some time in the open air doesn’t have to mean trekking around the countryside either. Most of us live within a short distance of a local park which can offer ample space to use up some of that left over Christmas energy lurking in children’s muscles, and there’s the added bonus that most have a play area too, often with a seat nearby!
Being outside gives the perfect opportunity to help your kids learn more about nature. Perhaps they’ve been studying plants, trees or animals in school or maybe you want to learn a bit more about Britain’s native tree species. Learn together whilst carrying out a tree survey!
“What’s a tree survey?” I hear you cry… Well it’s simple really!
The UK has a wide range of trees and they’re all distinctive. Granted it can be a little more tricky to identify different trees when the leaves aren’t out yet, but it can provide a different challenge of searching for left over seed shells and identifying trees by the places that they grow in or how the bark looks. You could even set the scene to return when the leaves begin to grow to see if you were right about which type of tree is which, and use the leaves as confirmation in a few months.
We wanted to make it easy for you to head out and complete your tree survey, so we created this downloadable Tree Survey Checklist with 6 commonly found trees and some facts about them to help with identification. To increase the fun even further, in Autumn when the leaves start to fall, you could head back out to the same trees to collect one of each leaf and attach an example to the sheet. If your little ones (or you) are more artistic, you could draw in a picture of the leaf, or even capture a photograph and glue it on to the sheet.
The Natural History Museum is also collating information about trees around Britain, whether it’s in your back garden or in the local park. You can find more detailed information about tree identification on their website, and also download a smart phone application which enables you to find out what trees are when on the move!
Be sure to share your photos of your tree surveying fun with us on Facebook!
This guest post was written on behalf of Arbtech.