Nostalgic Themed Week at Cobleland Campsite

After a busy week, we found ourselves having an even busier and fun weekend at Cobleland Campsite!  The Camping and Caravanning Club have been running a nostalgic themed week, so we added to our usual ranger activities programme 'Games & Traditions of Yesteryear.'
This included face painting, party games including: pass the parcel, musical statues/bumbs, Simon says, sports day races, willow weaving crafts with Tricia from Dragonfly Willow, who's session helped to raise money for the Bat Conservation Trust & Glendrick Roost, 'end of May'-pole dancing and tug of war - Team Pineapple beat team Strawberry!
The day ended with a Dusk Walk (where we saw loads of bats munching on midges) which finished at 10:30pm so it was a long fun filled day :-).

Jasmine & Darah show off their vampires and bunny faces

Lesley the Site Manager, me and ten other happy campers helped to plait the maypole. We didn't quite get as far as dancing around it, it was a massive achievement remembering to go the right way!

Cobleland Activities

Well, it's tipping down right now but the sun did come out for a lot of the weekend, just to prove it here's another nice picture of the bluebells near the Douglas Fir trees.

The weekend started off with the Chocolate Quest, Jasmine and Darah (aka Chaos & Mayhem) are getting a dab hand at this.  This week's quest involved answering questions about bats.  If you get a question wrong after hunting for the chocolate ticket in Teapot Wood you have to do a forfeit - they are not all bad though!

Teapot Lodge is nearly finished, just the roof to thatch and a door.

Jasmine's forfeit was to hug a tree, not really a forfeit as it's always a good thing to do :-). This Willow tree will be more than happy to get a hug!


Bushcraft & Survival

Here's Will explaining the edibility test for plants to the group - just for survival situations and never for mushrooms! Also, as a young lad, I think James, stood on a young Rowan tree Will had to explain about the dangers of uprooting or cutting down this superstitious, magical tree.

We managed to avoid the rain on the Dusk Walk and saw lots of bats amongst the trees.  We had to go out quite late though, it wasn't even dark at 10:30 when we finished, so well done kids for staying awake!

Magick Wands

Lovely wands made in the tent this week, we need to work on a spell to keep the midges out of the tent though!
Wands from left: Abby's Hawthorn, Andi's Rowan, Isla's Hawthorn, Angus's Hazel and Leah's Hazel.

Fungi can look like a Fun-guy

Oop, even more fungus is popping up everywhere. This one is shaggy ink cap, or judges wig.  It is edible, we had it as a starter, but if in doubt leave it out!!! Common ink cap reacts with alchohol! Both inks were used as a writing ink, but does smell a bit :-Z

As the foxlgloves are gone and autumn is on it's way, here is the new top tip at the Ranger Tent.

Ranger Tent

The ranger tent is ever evolving, the latest additions are some blackboards where the timetable 'doesn't' wash off in the rain, some comfy chairs and some excellent kids prizes for the raft race. Will has been playing again making up rafts to inspire the design making - any excuse!

Join us for an activity to find out what's in the treasure chest........

Enchanted Woodland Wardrobe

At last, the ranger tent is finished and decorated ready for the special woodland themed day to celebrate National Camping and Caravanning Week with this free event.

The day kicked off with wand making, followed by a faerie tea party and dog show, then a walk to Doon Hill, a real faerie hill where we took gifts and wishes to the faeries and learned some woodland magic along the way.

Thank you to all that joined in and hoped you enjoyed it, along with the weather - it poured down the next day!

Seth as Robin Hood and his oak wand (empowered with strength)!
Wand Making
This included learning about the ancient Druid calendar and their wise and magic trees before letting the 'wand choose the wizard'. (I had previously asked the dryad or tree spirit for permission before cutting them in the first place :-)  The wands were trimmed to about the length from the wand owners elbow to finger tip then shaved and sanded (which helps to infuse the new owners energy) and finally decorated. Decoration included marking the wand with an ancient ogham symbol which was the druid's alphabet for the trees, then optional further ancient alphabets from either the witch's theban or Viking's runic alphabets. Wands could then be decorated with further goodies and optional gems, stones and waxing later when they go home.
Note to remember new wand owners - only direct good spells through your wand or the spell will backfire on you threefold! Also remember to keep the wands clean by giving them a moonbath (soaking them in the full moon energy and light every full moon - this is also a good time for wishes :-)


Mmmmm, faerie cakes!!!

Dog Show
The elven boss, Lesley and Fingal the witchy dog
Kera and Penny dressed as Poison Ivy
Bertie won the 'Waggiest Tail' - well he is a puppy!
Sophie the Spaniel won 'Best Trick' - she sat brilliantly :-)
Ellie won 'Best Dog in Nature'
Faerie Hill Walk
Doon Hill and 'The Minister's Pine' - we didn't see Reverend Robert Kirk who is said to have disappeared into the faerie realms in 1692 (actually Katie in the red is sat right on the faerie portal at the bottom of the tree where he was said to enter this realm) but was he watching us with the faerie Kee and his friends?
I told everyone a bit about the Kirk mysteries and showed them an updated version of his book 'The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Faeries' where he wrote about the secrets of the fae after being invited to by the Seelie Court of the Sidhe (pronounced shee) in an attempt to help improve understanding of the fearie races and to clear any unnecessary fears of this mysterious underworld.
Winners of the fancy dress competition, Hattie, Frankie and Adam, adding their wishes to a scots pine tree on Doon Hill.  It's traditional to write your wish on natural degradable fabric and to bring a gift for the faeries - something sparkly, sweet, or maybe do a bit of litter picking or make some natural art for them.  The story goes that you can try and see a real faerie by going around the tree backwards seven times or to be whisked away into the faerie realms forever you need to go around the bottom of the hill three times!
Robin Hood and Patrinia the Faerie have a battle of the wands.... Oak (inner strength, protection and stability) versus Hazel (healing, knowledge/wisdom, inspiration and invisibility)!
Dare I ask for a Caption Competition - Will the ranger explores his feminine faerie 'Sidhe' Entries on our Facebook page Nix in Nature to win a wee wooden prize :-)

Another Tent!

OK, so we loved the bell tent so much.... we kept it for ourselves and bought another one for the ranger activities!  We are just settling in to our tent but those who have seen it say that it's like the one in Harry Potter, or Doctor Who's tardis as it looks bigger on the inside.

Will finished putting the tent up today by the playpark and we aim to have most things ready for the May Bank holiday.  This one was used on the set of Sky TV's 'Starlings', episode 6 I think?  I haven't actually seen an episode though?  Here is an example of how the sides can roll up - looks like it's going to take off :-)

Nix in Nature Ranger Tent

Our new bell tent arrived in record time thanks to Soulpad - excellent quality and easy to erect with entertaining information and instructions along the way :-) Check them out for their brilliant offers at the moment!
Thank you also to Will's Auntie's, Jacqui and Les and Nan who kindly gave us most of the money as a gift when we left Portsmouth for our new adventure <3 xxx Miss you xxxx

We went for five metre width which will be perfect for siting on the cement square by the playpark at Cobleland Campsite for future nature activities.  The sides can be raised too for the rare occasion when the site floods!!

We will be using the tent ourselves for a shortwhile though until we find larger accomodation than our transit conversion, hopefully an old caravan that we can convert and be comfy in.