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Autumn in Epping Forest
© Yvette Woodhouse

Seven ways for kids to go wild in London this autumn

Step away from the sofa and into the wilderness with these seven ways for kids to explore the great outdoors in London

By Laura Lee Davies

There will be time enough for days so wet and windy you're reduced to creating a jungle out of blankets in the living room. Right now, London's parks and wild spaces are very much open for autumnal business, and while playgrounds might be too chilly to hang around in, why not try some of these outdoor pursuits to keep the kids moving? We asked the team at the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes for their seasonal outdoors tips.

RECOMMENDED: Explore our guide to half-term in London

Seven ways kids can go wild in the city

© Tom Hines

1. Bird watching

Autumn and winter are two of the best seasons for birdwatching at WWT, as some of the UK's most attractive ducks arrive. Teal, wigeon and shovelers are easy to spot on our main lake. The elusive bitterns are also present on the reserve throughout winter. So grab your binoculars to see what birds are all about.

Epping Forest mushroom

2. Finding funghi

This is the peak season for fungi, too, so check out the woodland, grassland or woodchip borders in your local park. From big and colourful species such as the wood blewit to the tiny, dainty fairy inkcap – youíre bound to find something at this time of year.

Bugs Life.jpg

3. Make a B&B for bugs…

You can help creepy-crawlies get ready for hibernation by creating mini-beast hotels in your back garden. This is the time of year when many insects go for a winter snooze, so don't sweep those leaves away – create little sheltered corners using twigs and other natural materials you can find.

AT_wood_williammorrisgallery_2009_CREDIT_Bird Feeder by Nina Tolstrup_Photography Angela Moore.jpg

4. …or a bird feeder

Or you could make a birdfeeder to help small birds such as siskin, finches, tits, sparrows and nuthatch get through the winter.


5. Puddle splashing

Why let the wet weather stop you from having fun? We're hosting the London Puddle Jumping Championships at the WWT London Wetland Centre in the February half-term, so grab your anoraks, pull on some wellies and get practising!

Autumn leaves

6. Get crafty with nature

Nature crafts are a great way to get kids outdoors. Willow, for example, is brilliant for making decorative crowns and wreaths. Use berries, leaves and seed heads for colour. Or collect autumn leaves and conkers to create earth art. Look out for colourful berries like rowan and hawthorn, and winter evergreen such as ivy and mistletoe.


7. Stargazing

And finally… The darker nights rolling in over the autumn months mean great stargazing over big wetland skies (you donít even have to stay up too late).

Find more fun things to do with kids


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