Today for our ‘Mummy and Cici day’, asked if he could do “A really, really long walk”. As his brothers were already going on a day trip to Hardcastle Crags, this was an easy wish to fulfil.

Mill walk (upper woodland)

Cian led the way, making a long list of observations as he went. We spotted a woodpecker feeding on some ants and then flying back to it’s tree. I didn’t have my phone out to take a picture, so he insisted I carried it round for the rest of the five hour walk, to document the wildlife he spotted. The videos below are just a fraction of them.

He started off by pointing out the difference between the bluebells with the flowers open and closed.

He enjoyed all the stepping stones.

We had to avoid all the crocodiles in the leafy river.

He was fascinated by the ant carrying it’s prey.

“Can you see me peeping out like a little squirrel?”

“Look at that rock it is as colossal as a colossal squid!”

“Oooh, I see the sign post, we go this way!”

“When it’s windy do they jingle?”

It wasn’t even 11 am, but he’d already found the perfect spot for his packed lunch.

Cci pointed out all the different shades of greens that the mosses and lichens came in.

Cics also noticed that as the trees got taller, there were fewer bluebells.

He was the first to spot the gap in the tree canopy meant that bluebells were starting to grow again.

Cian was delighted that the bluebells and the ‘curly wurlies’ were still closed up where there was less light. Lower down in the valley, where there was more light, they were all unfurled.

Some more of Cici’s pictures.

Gibson Mill

Cian was delighted to spot some ducklings, but counting them as they moved was tricky.

He knew the Daddy mallard duck had a green head and the Mummy was brown.

He was fascinated when the ducklings walked along the grass in the water.

Crags Constitutional

Cian spotted that the waterfalls were all different shapes. The first one was tall and thin and the second was short and wide.

The second waterfall was very loud and the third waterfall was very quiet.

One river was quiet and calm and the other was babbling and making bubbles.

Mill walk (riverside)

Cici’s next spot was two mating bees.

He spotted that the bee was rubbing it’s front legs against it’s face and cleaning itself.

There was a fallen down tree with a very wide trunk and enormous roots. A second tree had fallen down and bridged the river, but despite his pleading we didn’t try to walk across it.

Instead, Cics chose to hide in the den the first fallen tree had created.

Mill walk (upper woodland)

When we got back to the car park, we’d been walking for four and a half hours (four hours actually walking if you took out stops to eat) so I expected him to just flop. We had half an hour left before Ioan and Finny were back, so I expected Cian to just flop.

Instead, he asked to retrace our steps from the start of the upper woodland ‘Mill Walk’ walk to check on the ants. The description of this section of this part of the walk is,

“The route is a long steep climb up ancient causey stones, undulating through uneven woodland paths.”

The ants were back up the top of the hill, but he was undeterred, so the wildlife was definitely energising him.

When we finally met up with Ioan and Finny, he couldn’t wait to tell them about everything he’s seen. He even took them back up the hill to show them some of the bluebells.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.