Walking is a wonderful way to get your family outside and spend some quality time together. The High Weald countryside is a natural playground - it’s healthy and free, with plenty to feed young imaginations.
Have some fun and games in nature! Here are five of our favourite ways to keep kids entertained on a High Weald walk, with links to handy activity guides and printable sheets:
1. Go on a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great outdoor activity for all ages. Download the Woodland Trust’s ready-made hunts for winter treasures, wonderfully wintry signs, signs of Christmas or tiny treasures. Or make up your own themes and hunts - you could look for objects of a specific colour, or count how many different types of trees you can see.
2. Be a nature detective:
look for animal tracks and signs
Use the Woodland Trust's spotter sheets to identify animal prints in soft mud, frost and snow, and to detect evidence of animal homes. The RSPB has a handy step-by-step guide to looking for clues and tracks.
3. Get twiggy with winter trees
Trees and woods are a distinctive feature of the High Weald. The region, covering parts of East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey, is the most wooded part of England and much is classed as ancient woodland.
Trees have lots of clues when it comes to identifying them during the colder months. Use the Woodland Trust's winter tree identification guide to look for buds and catkins, and the twig ID sheet to identify other species.
4. Go birdwatching
The High Weald has numerous nature reserves that are free to visit. They have a good path network and places to stop and watch wildlife. Find a nature reserve in the High Weald, or a specific RSPB nature reserve near you.
Use the Woodland Trust's bird hunt sheet for younger kids to spot different types of birds doing different things. Or check out the RSPB's step-by-guide to birdwatching and winter bird spotter sheet.
5. Stargazing and twilight trekking
Walking at night gives you a chance for star-gazing, storytelling and spotting some of our precious wildlife. Even routes you know really well can seem like an adventure in the dark!
Wrap up warm, take a flask of something hot, grab a torch and head into the woods. Use the Woodland Trust's nocturnal animal ID sheet to look for animals you don’t normally see during the day, and the twilight trek activity sheet to awaken the senses.
Take advantage of the unusually dark skies in the High Weald and the longer winter nights to marvel at the twinkling stars with the RSPB's step by step guide to stargazing. Why not download a star-gazing app to help you identify the constellations? Discover more about dark skies in the High Weald.