Get ready to shoot me! We picked SOME wildflowers. You see, I think the educational value of doing so outweighs the negative impact... at least if you do it with common sense.
The last few days of 30 Days Wild have seen us devote some time to wild flowers; finding, identifying, picking (judiciously), pressing, planting and cooking. We are lucky to have a few good areas for wildflowers in our neighbourhood and, armed with spotter sheets from Plantlife we have been out and about enjoying the warm weather.
What we actually picked
I am glad we had these spotter sheets because my flower knowledge is much more limited than birds, and it was great for Emma to be in charge of the information and to come over and identify flowers I found. She felt like the boss.
I don’t know why but being able to identify birds and plants seems to me as if it should be a crucial part of a child’s education. It was certainly a part of my upbringing and I was always puzzled that others could not do the same. Maybe it was a "countryside thing" but it just seemed like reading or writing; a natural and necessary element of education.
So, what did we actually pick? Well, I never had the intention to go beyond the very common so, steering clear of nature reserves and protected areas, we picked one oxeye daisy, buttercups, clover, cow parsley, one or two grasses and of course elderflowers - for cordials and cocktails alike.
Reap what you sow
Thanks to the Wildlife Trusts seeds, and also a bag of wildflower seeds that Emma brought home from a school visit to the garden centre, we were able to scatter more on our own patch. With a bit of luck we have added more than we took away. In any case both Emma an dI have been stung numerous times by horseflies, so nature had the last laugh.
It's really been a lovely few days of 30 Days Wild. Whilst we collected elderflower we also took the opportunity to eat cupcakes by the river, doing things in a relaxed manner and simply spending time outside learning a little and having fun. In this way we have also been able to add a couple of new members to our 30 Days Wild team which has been a real joy.