The Wolseley Centre Family Day Out Review
A Visit to a Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Centre
A few days ago we went to the Wildlife Trust Wolseley Centre near Rugeley in Staffordshire. Harry had previously been to a number of toddler activity sessions and so I wanted to go along myself and see what it was all about. However before we get into the details of our day out, here are the basics:
What is it?
Armed with our free site map we headed out to the boardwalks and started with the Kingfisher Walk nature trail (I have provided a link to a detailed map at the end of this blog or click on the map image above). The boardwalk passes over a number of pools where we saw dragonflies, ducks and a wide variety of birds. A number of families were feeding the ducks with a special food mix that could be purchased from the gift shop. Halfway around the boardwalk there was a nice seating area next to the River Trent. We stopped here to watch some birds and also a bee that was moving from flower to flower. The bee flew off towards the river and dipped down just as a fish rose which caused the water surface to ripple. Harry was convinced that the bee had “gone for a swim daddy – he likes to swim”
After doing a lap on the boardwalks we headed out on the Riverside Walk to find a nice spot for a picnic. The path follows the bank of the River Trent and we soon came across a few wooden benches that was the perfect spot for lunch. However, we were quite close a tree stump stepping / balance activity, plus there were large carved hollow wooden fish that you could hit with a stick like a drum or play it’s metal fins like a xylophone. Harry love these and it was tricky getting him to sit back down to eat his sandwiches. Lesson learnt – pick a lunch spot away from the percussion equipment
It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and there were lots of narrow boats travelling on the canal which ran alongside the River Trent on the opposite bank to us. On the river there was a large number of Canada geese frantically flapping their wings and generally creating quite a commotion which Harry loved. Harry asked if they were “having a bath”. I said that they were but I’m not actually sure?!
Despite the great den building Harry suddenly remembered the “splashy bridge” and that was all he could then think about. However, whilst he was still dry we decided to extend the walk just a little by following the Temple Lake Trail. This path takes you around the Temple Lake which has a number of interesting features along the way. At the far end of the lake (closest to the entrance drive) there is a small footbridge where we played Pooh sticks. Harry won fair and square with my stick getting stuck in a bush, and my wife’s stick lagging slowly behind. I say fair and square but thinking about it Harry threw all three sticks into the stream so maybe he gave his the edge?!
How Much Does it Cost?
1. Free Entry – they just ask for a donation for the car park.
2. Educational, fun, relaxing and great picnic spot!
1. Some of the paths can get very wet and muddy at times – wellies for little ones are recommended – with a change of shoes to keep your car clean!
2. No hot food for sale at the Wolseley Centre itself.