National Trust: Geocaching at Sheringham Park

As the weather was a bit warmer we set out to Sheringham Park to try geocaching.  I had already done it before, so I knew where each of the four listed on the sheet were, but let Soren & Maebh (with N’s help) find them by using the machines which we checked out for FREE at the Visitor Center.

ge·o·cach·ing

[jee-oh-kash-ing]
noun
the outdoor sport or game of searching for hidden objects by using Global Positioning System
(GPS) coordinates posted on the Internet.


Once the device lead us to the area, there were a few “clues” to help us locate the exacts spot where we had to find the hidden item.  When found, they opened it and signed the log book and left a penny from the USA.


While you are supposed to stick to the trails, we did venture off one where we found a few huge dens which clearly took someone a long time to build.
We walked and walked and walked…

While Nils searched the logs near the Temple for the last one (which was missing), the kids played “Temple Ice Hockey”.
Soren had a great time doing it, and we’ll definitely try doing it again soon as there are a lot around North Norfolk.  We’re going to try Orienteering at the park next.

National Trust: Acorns – It’s A Hoot at Sheringham Park

Today Maebh & I attended the It’s A Hoot session put on by the Acorns Toddler Group from Sheringham Park – National Trust.  She met up with some new friends & spent some time with her two favorite friends, Harvey & Immy.

Just like the last time, as there was rain, I left my good camera at home, but couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the kids with the iPhone, so not the greatest shots, nor a lot of shots, but good enough for this posting.

So like always, they first start of looking for stickers of the topic in the exhibition area. But we were late today, so we totally missed this part, but got there just in time to head off on a walk towards to Bower to learn a bit about owls and so a couple activities.   .

Ranger Rob, dissected an owl pellet for us.  He dipped it in a bit of water and pulled it apart with his hands and some tweezers to see if we could find bones, fur & feathers.

Inside it, he found a tiny leg bone, several skulls including one of a vole and two shrews.  



The kids then pretended they were owls and flew around the field in search of moles & shrews (which were pine cones with yarn tails.  After they used their ears to search for Rob pretending to be an owl in the woods.   
 


After the kids did two owl crafts and finished with a story and songs before we head home. 




As I didn’t have to pick up Soren at school because he was going to his friend Alfie’s house after the garden club, I took a nap with Maebh.  While I only slept for 1 1/2 hours, Maebh napped until 4:30 pm, clearly, she was exhausted and needed that long sleep.


When I told Soren about the owl pellets and what we found inside, he was pretty excited and is looking forward to the Owl Prowl at Sheringham Park on Tuesday during Half Term.


Next Acorns session is We’re Nuts About Autumn. 

The kids are so lucky to have all this nature around them.
 
 
 
 
 

National Trust: Acorns – Don’t Worry BEE Happy at Sheringham Park

Today Maebh & I attended Don’t Worry BEE Happy session put on by the Acorns Toddler Group from Sheringham Park – National Trust.  

As I posted before, it is the outdoor learning group for kids 2-4. Same as those who organized the Animal Adventure Adventure Soren & I attended back in February Half Term.  As well as the two events we did with  Godelieve & Harvey – It’s A Shore Thing & most recently Magnificent Moths.



We started off doing a little search for stickers with photos of various bees, hives & insects (some of which we saw today) scattered all around before heading outside into The Bower section.

We started off in the Wild Flower field looking at different bees.  We were to look at their bottoms – some were white, others were orange.  While I know there are many different types of bees, I never took note of the different color bottoms. 

 
 


We then went just behind the pond and were each given a little bug jar, heavy duty net catcher and a pad to dump our findings.  Rob showed us how to maneuver the heavy duty nets though the bushes to capture as many bugs as possible.   Maebh and I caught a large amount of common green capsid bugs.  When you put them in the little jar, they were all over each other and another little bug – as if they were attacking each other.  Rob says they are vegetarians, but they really did look like they were killing the other buggy, so we released them quickly.  








 
We then walked over to the large field where we played a game.  Jenny had a beehive and the kids had to run off like bees and buzz around finding the yellow pollen and return it to the beehive.  We then played a game with a bear in the middle who fell asleep (eyes closed) and a person would come to steal the honey when the bear woke up, she/he had to guess who is hiding the honey behind their back.  Like last time, only a few of the older kids played. Perhaps next session, Maebh will get in there, now that at least two of the older more aggressive assertive kids will be gone. 
 
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After our bug adventure, we went inside for tea, biscuit & craft.  We made these cute little pine cone bees, which now live in our flowers on the mantel in the dining area. 
 



After we had a story about bees and a song before saying goodbye.  Then Maebh and I walked around a bit.  We checked out the wildflower section again, stick art, the new insect hotel, and at the pond where she spotted many tadpoles but still not a single frog.  She also spotted a Pond Snail and then ran over to the sign and pointed at it. 

 


 




 


She also pointed at the Crayfish photo and said, “We got that at the market.”.   I think she means the lobsters we have had back in Boston. 


 




 
And finished off the fun with a ride on William’s Postman Pat scooter.

This was the last session of Little Acorns, but while Maebh will be in a Nursery school in the Fall, but I’ll just book her in for 5 days so the school gets the funding but will take her out of school every other week to attend this session, as we really like it.
 
Plus I heard today that I got the part-time Visitor Services & Admin. Assistant role at Sheringham Park, so I’m very psyched!!
 

National Trust: Sheringham Park & Kikkervis

This evening, as the weather was really nice, we headed over to Sheringham Park for an hour or so to see if the “kikkervis” have turned into frogs yet.  Nope, while there is not as many as in our last visit, there were tons of little one still with a few getting larger!  One day, I expect to see a kid in the pond, as they come oh so close.

 

 

 

I took some photos of the amazing flowers all over the park, but I don’t know the names and history, etc.  The park’s Head Gardner, offers a guided walk every Tuesday at 2 pm  – could be nice to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the flowers, the park also has some pretty cool trees.  If you look at them for a while, you start to see things – like the first one here, resemble elephant legs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soren found a dead creature – which I think looks like a mole – he kept saying it was sleeping, even after I kept saying, no he’s dead.

 

The kids had fun with stick art for a bit, before we walked the “red trail” for a bit before heading home.

 

 

 

 

Happy we now have a parking sticker, as I want to take Maebh there for a walk & picnic next week, if the weather is nice.   Perhaps we can find some friends to join us too.

 

Sunday afternoon at National Trust: Sheringham Park – Our first time visiting.

Ready for the walk!

The kids were ready for a walk! This weekend, National Trust offered FREE admission to over 200 places nationwide as part of a membership push and here in East Anglia, we had a few choices.

We didn’t want to go as far as Blickling Hall, Garden & Park (but I really do want to go there soon), so we had to choose between Felbrigg Hall, Garden & Park or Sheringham Park.  As Nils & Maebh had never been to Sheringham Park before we thought we’d go there.  Soren and I were there one time for the Animal Tracking event but didn’t explore the park beyond the trails, which we were lead on by Ranger Rob. 

There was no one at the gate checking our print out so not sure what the point was in filling out the form and bringing it in.  But now as I looked at the list again, Sheringham Park was not included. I guess they were offered admission into the Halls (enormous homes) located on the participating properties and where Sheringham Hall is private, it didn’t count?  Glad we didn’t get a parking ticket!

 

Sheringham Park is known for its landscape park and woodland garden with miles of amazing coastal views towards Weybourne.   It is also famous for its vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, which will be in full bloom in mid-May.   It has a huge house, a coach house, and this really cute lodge house at the entrance to the park.

Cute, but small coach house at the entrance to the park.

As we had never been there before, we walked on the blue trail and walked and walked until we made it to the first viewpoint.  After climbing up the first viewpoint, we determined this was not the “famous” view, so we moved on and kept following the blue trail and climbing a bunch of trees.

Always trying to climb a tree!

 

Of course this tree would be climbed up!

 

 

A hollow tree, which was still alive!

View of Weybourn

 

 

 

 

 

 

After climbing nearly every tree, we eventually got to the Gazebo and there was a LOT of stairs… but the view was wonderful, and while out of breath and tired, it was well worth it.  Now if we can time it with the train from Sheringham to Holt next time, I’ll be even happier.  At least we did get to see one train when down below.

Not my photo – but had to show you the steps!!

 

 

At the top!
At the top!

 

 

You know the phrase, “the way back is always shorter”?  Well, that is how we (or maybe just me) felt yesterday. The walk home was an adventure.  Soren was so angry that I didn’t allow him to walk over the cattle gate.  Nils & Maebh were far ahead and I didn’t want to risk a fall and then have a boy with a broken ankle.  In the photo, you can see where he is very angry with me.

 

We also really wished we had Maebh’s buggy with us, as her little legs were so tired, she kept asking to go on Nils’ shoulders.  Which would be fine, but his knee was killing him already and here weight didn’t help.

We managed to get back fine, a stop at The Bower section to play with the stick art, and see if any frogs were in the pond, before heading home.

 

 

 

I think we did about 4 miles in all.  It was a great bit exercise for all of us and the kids slept through the night perfectly. Once again, a nice, dry & sunny day in North Norfolk = Long walks for us!!

This Coast Alive Walks in Sheringham & Cromer PDF offers tons of various walk ideas.  Some we’ve done already and some for us to tackle.

 

 

 

 

National Trust: Adder Adventure at Sheringham Park

During February half term, Soren & I attended the Animal Tracking Session at Sheringham Park. As he really loved it, I signed up for the session offered during April half term, Adder Adventure.  Thankfully, I booked then as it is now sold out!

It was about a 2-mile hike around the park and on a lot of uneven grounds, on and off trails – pushchairs were not allowed and therefore, Maebh was not allowed.  In thinking ahead, I booked it for the four of us, thinking Nils and I can both attend, which will allow Maebh to come too, as I know she’d really love the adventure of it.

So tomorrow, the four of us [unless the couch delivery is late] will be heading in search of Britain’s only venomous snake – the adder!  Until 6 months ago, I never heard of an adder!  We call them Snakes or Vipers, Cobras or Rattlesnakes!! 🙂  It was only when the headmaster at Soren’s school was giving us a tour of the “Forest Schools area” when I asked if we should be concerned for ticks and Lyme Disease – he said no, but rarely we’ll come across an adder!  Thankfully, an adder bite is a rare occurrence and the NHS estimates that only around 100 people are bitten in the UK each year and due to the anti-venom serum given, death is not common!

Truthfully I’m not sure if I really want to find an adder on tomorrows venture!  Soren is thrilled as he talks about the California Rattle Snake a lot (we watched a show on it before and the scientist caught it in a large glass tube so we as viewers could see his tongue up close).   Maebh on the other hand says, “snake, what snake?  Showed her the photo and she replies: yeah, weep, weep, weep. It turns around and tickles me, Soren and Papa!”

UPDATE:  Unfortunately we got a call this am around 9 am telling us that the event was CANCELLED due to the cold weather and that due to it not being sunny, the adders would not come out.  They’ll refund the money and will try again in May! Kids were bummed!!