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West Stow, Woodpeckers and the Viking Alphabet

A wild day out with one of our youth training programmes.

Project Officer, Tracy had the opportunity to join Bush Adventures and West Suffolk College for the morning on one of their EDGE programmes. That morning, the group were visiting West Stow Country Park, starting with a walk along the Viking trail.

Part of the programme involves working towards the John Muir award. This Award is inclusive, accessible and non-competitive, and involves completing four challenges and giving a specific minimum time commitment. The four challenges are: Discovering a Wild Place, Exploring its Wildness, Taking Responsibility for the Environment and Sharing your Experience of the Wild Place with Others.  The aim of the Award is to encourage awareness and responsibility for the natural environment through a structured scheme in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

As the group explored the area they made discoveries: a cormorant and a tufted duck. A couple of woodpeckers noisily establishing territory in preparation for Spring. And signs of Spring already popping up too in the buds on the trees and the snowdrops on the ground.

The day also incorporated a time for mindfulness and reflection as a way to connect with and understand the environment they were visiting. And, of course, photo-ops too! (How better to share the experience?) With the students loving having their photographs taken with the Viking ship, dragon head and our selfie frame too.


Being at West Stow and on the Viking Trail, it was also the perfect opportunity to learn more about the heritage of the area and its ancient people. The group practised writing their names with the Viking alphabet and, of course, Tracy wasn’t going to miss out on that. So, with that, our Project Officer will sign off. Until next time.