Sunday, 4 June 2017

Nature journaling at Bowood Woodland


I have been reading a lot about nature journaling recently. It is a lovey way to study nature using art and observation. By sketching or painting, it allows you to slow down and analyse something in great detail and you may spot things which you otherwise might miss. Look at the colours, the shapes, the textures in detail and experiment with techniques in your artwork. Nature journaling is a great way to learn skills, document your observations and gain knowledge about the natural world around us.


Charlotte Mason, a British educator who wrote many books and articles about education and home educating at the turn of the twentieth century, was an advocate of nature journaling. She believed, 'If we give our children regular opportunities to get in touch with God's creation, a habit is formed which will be a source of delight throughout their lives.' Not only did she believe in the benefits of nature journaling, she also believed in the importance of outdoor play in general. She suggested children should be outside for 4-6 hours a day if possible. While this amount of time can be difficult, we know that children should be spending more time outdoors than they currently do. Studies have found that children are spending half as much time outdoors than their parents did. Why not start nature journaling as a fun way of spending more time outdoors and getting in touch with the natural world?


We started our nature journaling adventures on a recent trip to Bowood Woodland Gardens in Wiltshire. It was somewhere I had never been before and it is only open for such a short time each year (mid April to mid June) so you still have time if you would like to visit. It is an outstandingly beautiful woodland full of Rhododendrons. The colours of the flowers were amazing and perfect inspiration for nature journaling. 


We sat at the top of a small hill near a pond and set out our things. We bought paper, pencils and watercolour paints with us. 


D found a vibrant pink flower on the floor (there were lots of fallen flowers beneath the bushes) and began to paint. She did not sketch first with pencil. First, she painted the outline of the flower and then she filled it in. She seemed quite engrossed with this activity and produced a wonderful painting.


The boys were too excited to sit still and had lots of fun running around with their friends, enjoying the freedom of the outdoor environment.


A carpet of bluebells covered parts of the woodland floor, a sign of the month of May. 


Can you spot K amongst the flowers?


I have now purchased some wonderful artist pads in A5 size which I am hoping will become our nature journals and I am also hoping to make nature journaling a weekly activity. Have you tried nature journaling yet? 












Country Kids

33 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your personal experience and thoughts this is a lovely post to read also liked all the pictures

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  2. Oh hadn't thought of nature journaling. Might have to try it with the girls.

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    1. Do give it a go, even if it's just in the garden. It's good for you to do it too alongside your children :)

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  3. Such a lovely read��
    Loved all the pictures.
    Enjoyed it!

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  4. Nice post.pics are adorable.

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  5. The garden/ woodland is insanely beautiful - soo pretty. I love the idea of nature journaling too - sounds so relaxing and therapeutic x

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    1. It really is and in this day and age we sometimes need things to help us slow down and take in our beautiful surroundings.

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  6. Never heard of nature journalling but it looks so cute and relaxing. Good idea! (www.beautywithzainy.com and www.spicyfusionkitchen.com)

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  7. Being a Nature journalist is a lovely way to incorporate outdoor play and learning. I try to include a little with all our nature play here on the farm, the children love it and don't even realise they are learning as they play. Your daughter has quite a talent for painting, I love her pink flower and the boys look like they are having a lovely time running free.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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    1. Thank you, my daughter is really enjoying learning to paint. The farm must be a great place for nature journaling!

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  8. Fabulous painting! Bowood is a wonderful (possibly best) place to see rhododendrons. I love the walk. I like the Charlotte Mason method. A lovely reminder. Must get my children out adding to their journals. I hope your childrens' journals will soon be filled with more beautiful observations.#CountryKids

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    1. Thank you! Do you nature journal too? It's so fun :)

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  9. Ooo I'd never thought about nature journaling but would certainly be up for giving it a go. I think my daughter would love it. Thanks for sharing your experiences #PostsFromTheHeart

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    1. Why not give it a go? I'm sure your daughter would enjoy it :)

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  10. Masha Allah. Such. Lovely post! The pictures are mesmerizing. I love going to park with my kids. But, never thought of documenting the experience. Insha Allah, this would make children appreciate Allah as The Creator (Khaliq)

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  11. Masha Allah. Such. Lovely post! The pictures are mesmerizing. I love going to park with my kids. But, never thought of documenting the experience. Insha Allah, this would make children appreciate Allah as The Creator (Khaliq)

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    1. You are so right, it gives you a great opportunity to talk about our creator :)

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  12. Aww what an awesome idea, and the pictures look lovely!

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  13. I've seen a lot of this too and I really love the idea!! My son is almost 2 though so I don't quite think he is ready but I am on the look out for an awesome notebook for him to try it one day!! You've made a cracking start! The stats on kids outdoors is shocking and I hope parents and kids can forge their own outdoor needs themselves!! #countrykids

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    1. Yes you're right your son may be a bit young for this but there are other painting activities he could try. How about painting with mud on rocks (could use fingers for this) ? Or using berries, flowers or grass to paint/draw with on a canvas bag?

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  14. What a lovely adventure! We havent done this before. We do love to draw here but we usually take photos and draw them at home. Such a lovely idea to get to know nature. #countrykids

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    1. Taking photos to draw from at home is also a good option, particularly if you want to draw a creature that doesn't stay still!

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  15. What a lovely idea to encourage people to spend time outdoors. #CountryKids

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  16. I love the idea of nature journals, and that is a wonderful painting.

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  17. I love that painting of the flower. Nature journalling is a lovely activity. My girls have nature books and they love taking them on days out, sticking leaves and fallen blooms into their books, doing bark rubbings or just sitting and drawing in the sunshine. It's a lovely way to get outside and enjoy nature :-) #countrykids

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    1. Thank you. There are so many great ways to have fun outdoors.

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