Estuary team invite families to go wild with summer activities

Exe Estuary Nature Reserve

The RSPB is inviting families to enjoy the Exe Estuary Nature Reserve this summer - Credit: Ron Loynd

The RSPB’s Exe Estuary nature reserve in Devon is inviting families to enjoy a Big Wild Summer this year.
Throughout the school holidays the attraction will host a series of fun, nature-themed activities to help families discover nature at their local RSPB nature reserve or whilst escaping the everyday on a staycation.
From fairy hunts to pond dipping, discovery trails, getting to know our fascinating nocturnal creatures, and so much more – RSPB Exe Estuary nature reserve has something to help the whole family spend precious time together, reconnect with nature, and make happy memories outdoors once more
Enjoy these Big Wild Summer activities across the school holidays at RSPB Exe Estuary:
The Rainbow Trail at RSPB Darts Farm, Mon 26 July – Sunday 5 Sept 
Flowers, butterflies, leaves, dragonflies, and birds all brighten up our environment. Can you find all the colourful wildlife on a fun family trail of discovery around Darts Farm? Pick up a Big Wild Summer Activity Pack (£3.50) from the RSPB Darts Farm shop (1st floor above Cotswold Outdoor).
Pond-dip Like a Pro, RSPB Bowling Green Marsh – Fri 6 Aug 1-4pm, Fri 20 Aug 1-4pm. RSPB Exminster Marsh – Tues 10 Aug, Weds 1 Sept 1-4pm
Discover pondlife of all shapes and sizes that makes its home in our wondrous waterways. Who can find the longest, cutest or strangest creature? Booking essential. £5 child non-members, £4 child members
Fairies in the Garden, Fri 13, Sat 14 Aug 11-4pm. Booking essential. £4 per child.
At the RSPB Bowling Green Marsh Wildlife Garden, help to release all the fairies from their hidden doors with a swish of your magical nature wand. Find each of the conservation fairies so they are free to save nature. Fancy dress encouraged. Price includes take-home wand.
RSPB Bowling Green After Dark, Sat 28 Aug 7pm-late. Booking essential. £5 child non-members, £4 child members
Experience RSPB Bowling Green Marsh like never before and discover the wildlife that comes alive in the night-time. Have fun with moth traps, bat and bug hunting, and a thermal scope. Free hot drink or juice for children.
Birdwatching for Children, Sat 11 Sept 9-11am. Booking essential. £10 child non-members, £8 child members.
Dip a webbed toe into the feathery world of birds. Our friendly experts will help children of any ability learn about different species and what makes each one special. Learn to use binoculars and scopes, then work out what's on the reserve at RSPB Bowling Green Marsh. Free hot drink or juice for children. Price also includes learning materials to take away.
For full Big Wild Summer event details at RSPB Exe Estuary and to book in advance, visit: events.rspb.org.uk/bigwildsummer
The RSPB Darts Farm shop has a range of nature-themed goodies available for the family to take home and remember their big wild summer day out. Give nature a home in your own home with our bug hotels, nest boxes, bird feeder, and butterfly wildflower seeds. Or treat the family to some optics, a bug ID kit, or wildlife book so you can continue to explore the nature on your own doorstep.
Tim Smith, Visitor Experience Officer at RSPB Exe Estuary said: “We’re really excited to welcome families back to RSPB Exe Estuary for a summer of fun, nature-themed activities, after a really challenging year for everyone. With our exciting range of Big Wild Summer events, our shop and cafe, we can provide a fantastic day out connecting with wildlife and having fun outdoors together.”  
As everyone is keen to get back out into their favourite places in nature or discover new ones on staycation, the RSPB is encouraging people to visit their nature reserves and the countryside responsibly this summer holidays.
Tim added: “As we all return to the countryside, we’re asking visitors to help our ground nesting birds and other wildlife by watching their step. Over half of England’s most threatened breeding birds nest on or near the ground, and our nature reserves are a safe space for many of them along with other vulnerable wildlife. We’re reminding visitors to please follow the Countryside Code and additional guidance at individual sites to Respect, Protect and Enjoy the outdoor spaces they love. Simple acts such as keeping to the paths, keeping dogs on a lead, and taking litter home make a huge difference to protecting wildlife and the experience of other visitors. If we work together, we can create some wonderful memories in nature and help protect it at the same time.”
For more information about the nature reserve and facilities, visit: rspb.org.uk/bowlinggreenmarsh

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