This is my favourite time of year…autumn. I adore going on forest walks, seeing the beautiful colours, whilst feeling the freshness in the air. This year, it seems to have rather sprung up on me. We headed for a woodland walk whilst we were visiting The Vyne with the National Trust and spotted a conker tree. There followed our conker encounter.
The Vyne is a beautiful national trust property we have visited before, but each visit delivers something different. This time, we spotted pumpkins growing, which was great for the children, they’ve never been to a pumpkin patch. It’s fascinating looking at all the different sizes, colours and shapes.
After a walk around the house and a delicious picnic, we headed for a woodland walk. We had only got to the start of the walk when we glimpsed our favourite tree…a horse-chestnut and there were conkers all over the floor! Wow, this was childhood heaven for my kids! They screamed with excitement. I dug around the bottom of our rucksack in search of a carrier bag. I always have a spare bag for just such occasions. The children were in their element.
We have been conker hunting before, but only by the side of a road, this was so much nicer, hunting in the beautiful surroundings of woodlands. Even better was that it was so unexpected. It really was a close conker encounter, they were falling off left right and centre. I am very surprised none of us got hit, though one did fall within a whisper of my nose. It felt like I needed to be holding an umbrella for protection against conker rain!
The children collected so many. Following this, they were on a mission to gather all the ones still in their shells. They delighted in opening them up, all fresh and shiny. The oohs and ahs were deafening. Words can’t fully demonstrate how amazing my children found this experience. It was pure, natural, childhood fun bliss. It took all my persuasive skills to drag them away from that tree. On leaving it, my son said “that was sooooo AWESOME mummy, thank you so much for letting us do that”! That was a fantastic parenting moment, my children showing such appreciation for the simplest of things…nature!
The only problem with this experience, was we now had to carry our little treasures! For a while the children showed great initiative and held a stick with the bag on it between them. However, this didn’t last a long time and you can guess who ended up carrying them…mummy and daddy!
We carried on our walk, with Pinky stopping to tell an old couple all about her conker treasures. I couldn’t believe how proud she was to show these people. I am in awe of her confidence for talking to people.
The children climbed trees, played in dens and hid behind enormous leaves. Everyone had a fantastic time on our lovely autumn day out. Now to work out what to do with all these conkers!