The reception and year 1 classes from Eyton school had a morning with a difference yesterday when they headed down to Erddig to visit the new Wolf’s Den play area.
Braving the mud and chilly weather, the children had the opportunity to try out the obstacle course, which contains balancing beams, tree posts, a rope swing and the chance to build your own den.
Made entirely of resources from the wood, the Wolf’s Den was a project that began to take form last summer, with staff and volunteers at Erddig helping with the design and build of the area. Set over two acres of land, the Wolf’s Den will be used for bush craft courses, environmental learning; Forest School activities, Erddig’s Youth Club and Young Rangers.
The obstacle course ties in with the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾; a project that encourages children both young and old to get into the outdoors and experience something different. The list contains lots of fun activities, such as flying a kite, playing conkers and swing on a rope swing, which also aim to help develop a child’s self esteem and confidence.
Property Manager, Jamie Watson said: “The National Trust has a vision to grow the nations love of the outdoors. We needed a dedicated a play area for the smaller members of the community. Childhood can be dominated by gadgets, we hope it will get children into the outdoors.”
After the children had the chance to ‘test out’ and play on the obstacle course, they had the opportunity to take shelter under a canopy to enjoy hot chocolate next to a log fire. Head of parks and garden, Saul Burton also give the class a demonstration on how to toast bannock over an open fire.
To signify the official opening of Wolf’s Den, the Mayor of Wrexham Cllr Ian Roberts was there to officially cut the woodlands take of a ribbon. Strung between two trees at the entrance of the play area, the Mayor
The Mayor said: “The Mayoress and I are delighted to be invited to visit the new Natural Play Area at Erddig, I know the Estates Team have been working really hard on this project. We also enjoyed reading through the list of things to do before you are 11 and 3/4 and both agree that as children we did in fact, manage to do the majority of them.”
The Mayor also commented on the importance of encouraging children to get outdoors and take part in the 50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4 list, saying that it is special for children.
Eyton school have worked in close collaboration with the staff at Erddig before, having previously taken part in the Forest School and the Rumble Crumble event. Teacher of Eyton School, Samantha Jesson said: “It’s about giving children skills.”
This weekend signifies the public launch of Wolf’s Den, with children of all ages encouraged to pay a visit and experience the play area.
For further information on the National Trust’s ‘Fifty things to do before you’re 11 and ¾’ then visit: https://www.50things.org.uk/