As the woods are in the middle of a housing estate i'd done a little drive around after work earlier in the week to find out how to get to them! The main entrance is quite easy to find and has this information board.
It was all set up with stalls today and we picked up a kids pack for my daughter to do. They have a great little railway that goes through part of the wood and she had to go on that first! Everything is run by the Churwell Environmental Volunteers and they have recently won an award for the work they've been doing.
We headed off in the direction of the hay meadow first doing the quiz questions that had been put up amongst the trees. I'm pleased to say my daughter did pretty well with the answers with only a little help on a couple including what trees who keep their leaves all year round were called! We saw a Mistle Thrush in the trees and lots of bugs in the grass and nettles. I spotted bat boxes too.
A Mirid bug I think - possibly this one?
A beck runs along the woods and a pond dipping area has been set up here. We didn't catch anything but a young boy managed to catch a tadpole, one of the first they'd had this year. There were a lot of snails in the water too. One of the volunteers mentioned they had stickleback in the pond and that they also had a Kingfisher visiting regularly.
The walk past the pond took us further down the beck and into the woods alongside the hay meadow.
It was fairly free of people and it's a lovely walk There's a bench to sit and watch a bird feeding point, we took a break here and watched Great Tits in the trees and Speckled Wood butterflies along the edge of the field.
We walked to the end of the path by the beck spotting these tiny mushrooms and ladybird larvae and decided to turn around for now as we we hungry!
So back to the main part where we had bought buns and hot dogs (delicious), seeing this Blackbird on the way.
After we ate we headed in the opposite direction into Clarkspring woods.
Another lovely walk along the beck with Speckled Woods, Blackbirds, young Robins/Magpies, Great Tits and a Chiffchaff.
Crossing over the road we went through the woods into the park and walked around to the pond (where I had managed to nudge my camera setting on to M and overexposed the shots which I didn't realise till later!). Heading back out of the estate we walked on home.
I am so pleased we finally made it down here, it was beyond my expectations and you can see the hard work that has gone into the area. It will be somewhere i'll be coming often especially as it's close by work and there's still a few of the paths/woods we didn't get chance to explore. I think it'll be good for the birds too, it'll be interesting to see what's around through the year.