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Woodland Edge

Calke Explore!

Calke Explore

Calke Explore! at the National Trust’s Calke Abbey proved to be a big hit this summer. The play space wasa new woodland experience designed to get visitors outdoors and closer to nature.

A shady area of the Poker Leys woodland which had never before had public access was transformed into a temporary play space.

Divided into a number of zones, visitors had the opportunity to borrow kit from a 'Sports Chest' and have a go at sports. They could then follow a '50 things to do before you are eleven and three-quarters trail', where they can have a go at making a grass trumpet, tracking wild animals, den building or a barefoot walk, before they reach the main hub of activity in the woodland.

Natural play installations ranged from an ivy cottage and a balancing spider's web to a swinging tree trunk and willow hiding eggs. Visitors even had the opportunity to climb inside a giant bird's nest.

The installation was part of a wider project exploring the potential to create an 'Outdoor Hub' at Calke. It provided an opportunity to trial lots of outdoor activities to find out what visitors really enjoy doing and what they would like to see from an outdoor offer - a really fun way of carrying out public consultation.

Jennie Lloyd from the National Trust’s Calke Abbey said: "Calke Explore was incredibly popular. It really got our visitors out discovering new parts of the park and having a great time. Calke Explore is now closed but we are hoping to bring it back in the future."