2015 Events Roundup

Linda Redden, Kent Wildlife Trust's Events and Operations officer, writes about the events we hosted in 2015.
The cast of Pride and Prejudice

To launch the start of our exciting programme of events Sevenoaks hosted an outdoor performance of Pride and Prejudice in the area next to the Elemental Garden.

The Pantaloons theatre company gave a hilarious and entertaining performance with lots of audience participation and references to Sevenoaks and its wildlife.

Visitor feedback was so positive we have booked the Pantaloons to come back twice next year; firstly for a matinee performance of Gulliver’s Travels in June followed by Canterbury Tales in August.

The Wildlife Trusts campaign ‘Every Wild Child’ aims to get more children engaged with wildlife and nature and the autumn fun day at Sevenoaks in October half term certainly did this with all the family being able to get involved with woodland themed craft activities, outdoor trails and stories by a captivating storyteller.

Aimed at families with younger children it was a great way to spend a day during the school holidays outside in the fresh air and beautiful natural environment of Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve.

The family bushcraft day also gave participants a taster of being outside surrounded by wildlife and nature but in the safe environment of Tyland Barn. Watch out for more bushcraft days next year at Tyland Barn, Sevenoaks and Romney Marsh led by some of our Forest School staff.

Bushcraft session

We did a Halloween event with a difference by creating a spooky night time trail sights and sounds of the night outside at Tyland Barn.

Over 60 visitors enjoyed an outdoor light trail searching for creatures who come out after dark, guessing the unusual sounds of nocturnal animals, eating some delicious hot food and seeing a real live bat!

The watercolour and silkscreen workshops tutored by Carole Robson and Sue Batt proved very popular. What a better way to spend an autumn Saturday morning than creating a personal work of art inspired by nature?

In November Carole and Sue also held an exhibition of their work which brought alive the new ‘art space’ in the visitor centre.

During 2016 the aim is to use this ‘art space’ to showcase local artist and photographers work and also give them an opportunity to sell original work, prints and cards.

Next year we are introducing printing workshops at Sevenoaks for both adults and children during weekends and school holidays.

Finally we ended the year by converting a bird hide at Sevenoaks into Santa’s Grotto decorated with holly, ivy and conifer with wise owls and cute robins hiding in the greenery.

Stockings were hung from the fireplace and the centre piece of the grotto was a fabulous Christmas tree surrounded by sacks of presents.

Tickets sold out and visitors commented on how it was so nice not to be queuing inside a busy shopping centre with crowds of people. We will definitely be repeating Santa’s ‘bird-hide’ Grotto in 2016 with even more crafts and stalls next year.

Bird-hide grotto

We wouldn’t be able to run our events without the help of volunteers. Events give volunteers an opportunity to get involved and have fun at the same time as joining in the event or watching a theatre production for free! Volunteers can help in a number of ways including meeting and greeting, stewarding or assisting with craft activities to name just a few.

Over the winter months we will be looking to increase our team of event volunteers so if you are interested for more information go to our website.

I think you will agree this year has been a great success in engaging new audiences to Kent Wildlife Trust by enticing them to visit an event. When visitors have a great time at an event we hope they will return again and again, they may become members or even volunteer but whatever happens they will definitely have a great time in the fantastic outside spaces our visitor centres have to offer.

Look out for more new and exciting events coming in 2016!