4 PLACES FOR FAMILIES TO ENJOY NATURE DURING LOCKDOWN
With schools closed to the majority, routines thrown off track, and parents working remotely, countless children are spending more time at home with their families.
The pandemic has led to most of us reassessing our lifestyle, family health (both physical and mental) and well-being goals.
Some normal ways of getting active are no longer an option, therefore being active, while having fun as a family, is becoming essential.
HER asked Lisa Chisnall, founder of ‘Trips and Giggles’ to suggest some great destinations in Hampshire where families can get back to nature.
Of course, please remember to follow Government guidelines, these locations in Hampshire should only be visited, at present, for exercise if they are in your local area.
HOGMOOR INCLOSURE, WHITEHILL, BORDON, HAMPSHIRE GU35 OFJ
Third largest nature reserve in the UK (54 hectares), Hogmoor Inclosure has a large array of birds, wildlife, woodlands and heathland to explore via walking, running or on cycle trails.
Entertain your children at the outstanding natural play area, with a wide variety of equipment for all ages (sand, zip wire, tyre swings, forts etc).
Can your children spot the bug hotels or bat hibernation bunkers?
Hot food and drink from the cafe
Toilets (including baby change)
Terrain – buggy and wheelchair friendly
Free parking in their tank crossing car park (every toddler’s dream!)
WEST WALK IN THE FOREST OF BERE, WICKHAM, HAMPSHIRE PO17 6JD
An adventure play area which is nature’s magical wonderland, a colossal 19th-century oak tree, wooden playhouses, wigwams, sandpit, low ropes, climbing wall, bridge and shingle stream.
What more could the kids want than what’s on offer at The Forest of Bere? Enjoy exploring the conifer plantations and den building areas, with light streaming through the canopy creating a sense of mystery on this three-mile circular route.
Parking fees apply (free for National Trust members)
Hot food and drinks
Toilets in the car park
Moderate hills, all-terrain buggy friendly, wheelchair friendly in places.
HOLLY HILL WOODLAND PARK, SARISBURY GREEN, FAREHAM, SOUTH HAMPSHIRE
Developed since the 1870s, this estate park and Arboretum (80 hectares) Holly Hill has a Green Flag award for its quality. Stunning extensive lakes with islands and waterfalls surround you, see the resident wildfowl and enjoy trees and shrubs from around the world, including towering giant redwoods.
Gaze at the Fern Grotto (cave) or ‘sunken garden’, which was reclaimed from dereliction. Extend your journey into the Wendlehome Nature Reserve, leading you down to Hamble shore, with its abundance of plant and birdlife.
All-terrain buggy friendly, unsuitable for wheelchairs
Toilets in the car park
Holly Hill Cafe at Holly Hill Leisure Centre open for takeaway
CHILBOLTON COW COMMON, CHILBOLTON, STOCKBRIDGE, HAMPSHIRE
A site of Special Scientific Interest with 212 plant species, rare birds (including hawks, owls, buzzards) and insects, you can even spot cows wandering down to the river to drink at Chilbolton Cow Common!
This ancient rural common is bounded by two arms of the River Test. Two shallow chalk pools make it extremely clear to spot wildlife and count minnows ( I feel a song coming on…).
Stroll around the meadow loop, roam down the meandering wooden bridge with spectacular views. Chilbolton War Memorial Park is one-minute walk from the car park (past the white cottage).
Terrain – best explored on foot, not wheelchair friendly
Refreshments – Chilbolton Stores
No Public toilet. Nearest – Stockbridge High St
HOW CAN ‘TRIPS AND GIGGLES’ HELP FAMILIES TO TAKE LEARNING OUTSIDE?
Trips and Giggles suggest and review family-friendly locations for exercise, exploration of local nature and wildlife, as well as ideas for learning outside when you arrive.
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