I’m consistently very impressed by the continued collaboration between the National Trust and Nosy Crow, we find them inspirational and this is such a different but excellent topic!
Night Explorers is great book to encourage an understanding of nocturnal nature with achievable activities whether you have a garden or not, whether you live in town or the country there are ways to engage with the natural world at night.
Although this book published earlier this summer, I think it comes into a second stride in these autumn months so I saved posting the review until we had explored some ideas on our short break away in a woodland setting.
Now the reason I did this is whilst we live near woodland but not actually IN the woods, so whilst we can stargaze better at home, the night time birds, noises and walk opportunities were different to those we may experience locally which was great to discover using this book!!
Describing and depicting nocturnal birds, mammals, amphibians and mini-beasts it begins to show the diversity of night time nature in the UK and around the world.
One of Littlefae’s favourite words is nocturnal and she enjoys comparing different nocturnal and diurnal creatures so this offers a great project opportunity for children whilst avoiding staying up too late with many at school.
Autumn provides rich opportunity for achievable ‘nighttime’ learning with temperate weather but there is already a considerable change with the evening drawing in much earlier than even a few weeks ago meaning the fun doesn’t have to occur in the wee hours.
There are ideas that can be applied year round which can be much more bedtime friendly than the height of summer.
On our woodland holiday we have been inspired by this book with torches, gone for walks in the dark and listened to owls hooting in the darkness which has added a wonderful enriching layer to our holiday.
I like the way it attempts to teach Morse Code and encourage games in a safe dark space (doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be outdoors) and as such would be great for Scouting and Girl Guiding leaders to consider for camp or winter time activities.
At home we have been encouraged by this book to plant some nocturnal flowers and those attractive to night time pollinators effectively making a Moon Garden which has been great fun for the children to point out night scented jasmine and honeysuckle, plant up nicotiana and evening primroses and to choose or confirm the best places to put our pots of Buddleia *
Overall, this is a fantastic book packed with accessible information and fun to learn about and appreciate nocturnal creatures and demystify night time! Well worth exploring for parents but also for Youth group or scouting/Girl guide leaders to come up with different nocturnal nature inspired ideas for the autumn-winter months.
National Trust: Out and About- Night Explorers text by Robin Swift & Illustrations by Sara Lynn Cramb is published by Nosy Crow in association with the National Trust thank you for my copy 💜
On the subject of Buddleia it’s gorgeous, smells like warm cherry pie and is full of nectar for attracts bees, butterflies and moths like a book lover to a library but it can be a bully of a plant. If you treat it mean and keep in a medium sized pot you should be able to keep it any size garden even on a balcony. We cut ours back hard at least twice a year (Spring just before or around the time the Chelsea Flower Show is on telly and again in late Autumn) and it is still beautiful, flowers and it won’t turn into the monster plants you see by railways!!