School holidays at Skelton Grange

The Skelton Grange Environmental Centre and Conservation Volunteer project aims to promote an understanding of environmental issues to Leeds children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities. Over the school holidays the centre is always busy running a range of fun activities getting children and young people involved in conservation.

Because it’s the half-term holiday this week, in today’s blog we hear from Louise Gibson, a volunteer officer at Skelton Grange, about what it was like volunteering at Skelton over the Easter holidays…


It’s all smiles at Skelton Grange in the school holidays

“The Easter holidays are done, children are back at school and normality has returned to Skelton Grange. The school holidays always bring a hectic couple of weeks to Skelton Grange and I thought you might be interested in the sorts of things we get up to.

“It all kicked off on Good Friday with an Easter egg hunt, with lots of children coming along. Each child, armed with a map, followed the fiendishly difficult clues to work their way around the site and find the animals that lay eggs. We had all kinds of creatures hiding out at Skelton that day, from ducks to crocodiles; there were even rumours of a T-Rex sighting somewhere in the woods.

“Once the hunting was done there was still more fun to be had. There was a chance to try some fish that had been smoked over a campfire, and have a look at some of the creatures that live in our ponds. With various craft activities – including, making spring crowns and a mini Easter garden – every child had something great to take away. Along with the chocolate egg they got for all their puzzle solving efforts of course.

“The school holidays are when we get to run our bush craft days. These are a brilliant opportunity for kids to enjoy the outside, build dens, play games and even learn some new skills. We try to teach young people some useful skills, like how to light and maintain a fire. On the other days there were plenty of interesting things to do, including carving your very own butter-knife and making para-chord bracelets.

“We also had a few great days outside in the woods with some young carer groups, giving them a chance to relax, make things and have fun. As well as a great group of kids from Hunslet St Mary’s Primary School who chose to come visit during their holidays to learn some bush craft skills.

“But it’s not all fun and games at Skelton. Well, okay a lot of it is… but we also have some conservation work to do! So we were also finishing off a recently laid hedge by binding the top, putting down some eco-grid to stabilise our path and getting properly stuck into the vegetable patch.

“We’ve got plenty of other things to look forward to, with summer play schemes, more bush craft, art activities and sleepovers in the wilderness there’s no time to take a break. Hope to see some of you soon down at Skelton Grange.”

A big thanks to Louise for taking the time to write about her experiences!

There are plenty of fun activities going on at the centre over summer and you can check out full eventing listings, as well as opportunities for older young people to get involved in volunteering on the Skelton Grange website.

Are you involved in fun activities for young people over the school holidays? How can we get children more interested in environmental issues? Why not let us know on Twitter @child_leeds or by leaving a comment below…

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