ON a glorious summer day, 30 children from Badshot Lea Village Infant School, St Andrews C of E Infant School and St Peter’s C of E Primary School came to the Bishop’s Meadow with parents and teachers for a day of fun activities.
The event was arranged and run by the Bishop’s Meadow Trust which owns and manages these 34 acres of water meadows in the heart of Farnham, and the programme was arranged so that everyone had an opportunity to take part in everything on offer.
In the orchard, among fruit trees planted by children from these schools three years ago, Surrey Wildlife Trust expert Isobel Girvan ran a mini-beast hunt. Using nets and observation pots, all sorts of small bugs and beasties were found and butterflies and grasshoppers were chased – but seldom caught.
Under the shady gazebos nearby, Susan Green ran a stone painting workshop where each child transformed the smooth stones they had brought with them into brightly coloured memory stones with designs in paint and felt pen inspired by the meadow.
In the colourful wild flower acre around the Space2Grow project, children gathered to share in the work of a Tudor pharmacy. Here Caryl Griffiths and her assistant Jo Hobbs – both in Tudor costume - showed them how to chop, pound and mix herbs and other plants growing on the meadows or found nearby to make simple medicines and sweet smelling lotions.
In between activities there was time to play in the meadow and then sit in the shade and hear tales told by storyteller Jim Munro.
Before they went home, each child was given a certificate making them a junior member of the Bishop’s Meadow Trust.
The Bishop’s Meadow Trust, founded in 2009, will be running further children’s events this year, with a foraging and meadow kitchen in the autumn, a Winter Solstice Warmer in December and a spring celebration in April.