(Above) Carved pumpkins at Kingcombe © Sally Welbourn
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is hosting a series of outdoors and crafty events guaranteed to keep children entertained this half term – and they may learn a thing or two about wildlife!
In east Dorset, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve on Brownsea Island has the ‘Wildlife of the Witching Hour Halloween Trail’ every day of the half term week, from 10am – 2pm. The trail is suitable for kids (and big kids!), and if you’re nuts about nature you’ll be sure to learn lots about the wildlife the reserve is home to, and receive a spooky prize on completion.
Learn how to make your garden welcome to hedghogs
Celebrating Wild about Gardens Week, Knoll Gardens in Wimborne is offering free entry to DWT members, (or a refund on the entry fee if visitors become DWT members) on Friday 30th October from 10am – 4pm. The Knoll Gardens Foundation and The Great Heath team have teamed up to show visitors how they can make their gardens wildlife friendly, such as making habitat to welcome hedgehogs into green spaces. Adults and children welcome.
Make some Halloween themed masks!
The Fine Foundation Marine Centre at Kimmeridge is offering kids the chance to make some carnival themed masks for Halloween on Wednesday 28th October from 1pm – 3pm. Make or decorate your own ocean-themed mask to take home, using inspiration from mystical mermaids to creepy creatures of the deep! £3 per child.
Tasty treats for birds!
Staying with the coast, why not visit Chesil Beach this half term and stop off at the DWT Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre for some ‘Halloween Bird Feeder’ craft sessions on Saturday 31st October from 11am - 3pm. You can also explore the ‘Half-Term bird bonanza’ every day throughout half term, from 10am- 4pm, where children are invited to make fat balls and bird feeders to help get gardens ready for winter. All craft activities 50p per item.
Explore the spooky woods this Halloween
Nearby, at Lorton Meadows Nature Reserve in Weymouth, the ‘Minibeasts in the Wild Woods’ event on Thursday 29th October from 10.30am-12.30pm invites children to explore the wild withy woods, looking for bugs and beetles, and then having a go at making some beetle badges. The ‘Spooky Bats’ event on Friday 30th October, also from 10.30am – 12.30pm gives children the opportunity to make some ‘bouncing bats’ to take home. Booking essential on 01305 816546.
Spooky pumpkin carving
In west Dorset, the Kingcombe Centre is running a variety of events for kids to get crafty with the ‘Family Fun Day’ on Saturday 24th October, and ‘Get Set for Halloween’, exploring the reserve looking for ingredients for a Halloween spell and carving a spooky pumpkin on Thursday 29th October. For more information and to book, visit the Kingcombe website or phone 01305 320684.
Find out more about our events on our events page.
- Brownsea Island Nature Reserve – Nature Reserve entry suggested donation £2 per person, £1 age 12-18, under 18’s and DWT members free. Activity listed is free and included in the entrance fee. National Trust landing fees apply. Visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/brownsea_island_ reserve or phone 01202 709445.
- For more information visit www.knollgardensfoundation.org or ring 01202 873931. Address: Knoll Gardens, Stapehill Road, Wimborne, BH21 7ND. Normal admission prices: Adult £6.25; Concessions £5.50 Child (age 5-15) £4.50, Disabled Person + helper: £1.00 off each appropriate category, Group Rate (pre booked with min of 12 people paying en bloc): £5.00 per person
- Fine Foundation Kimmeridge Marine Centre – Wareham, BH20 5PF. Phone 01929 481044. Email . Map ref SY 909787 Children must be accompanied by an adult.
- The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, Portland Road, Portland, DT4 9XE. Phone 01305 206191. The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is a partnership between Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset Wildlife Trust. The Centre is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Fine Family Foundation, Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve, Jurassic Coast Team and Trust, Crown Estate, Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, Dorset County Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Chalk and Cheese and an army of volunteers from the local community.The Centre is open from 10am to 4pm every day. For more information, ring 01305 206191 or visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/chesilcentre. Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature.
- Lorton Meadows Conservation Centre is on Lorton Lane, Upwey, Weymouth, DT3 5QH. Lorton Meadows nature reserve is open all year with free parking. The Conservation Centre and toilets are open to visitors 10am to 4 pm on the 1st Saturday of every month. Telephone 01305 816546 to check other opening times. Please leave a message if we aren't able to answer your call.
- The Kingcombe Centre is in west Dorset, Toller Porcorum, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 0EQ. Phone 01305 320684. Visit www.kingcombe.org for more information. Booking for all events and courses essential.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.