I know that’s a long-winded title, but it’s exactly what was in my head. I’d seen these Xplorer leaflets in Slough’s libraries since last summer – come along to an Xplorer trail at Herschel Park or Salt Hill Park on this date… We never quite made it, out of laziness or maybe we were out on the trains or something. But this Easter I decided, yes, we ARE going to check out this Xplorer trail thing. We went to the one at Herschel Park last Tuesday. It was a drizzly day, so we went prepared, wearing raincoats and wellies.
The event was part of a Family Fun day, and there was a petting farm to look at. This was a bonus as it’s usually just the trail you go for. Lily fell asleep and missed it all, so I had to drag her pushchair through the muddy grass, while Tyler whizzed around looking at hens and ponies and sheep and ducks and pretty much every farm animal you could think of. It was surprisingly busy considering what a grey day it was – kids love animals, eh?
After we looked at the animals, we went along to the Active Slough tent to find out what this Xplorer thing is. So basically you get a map of the park with a trail marked out and there are numbered markers to find in the park. At each marker, there will be a question to find (on a piece of card tied around a tree or to a bench etc) and you have to fill in your answer on your sheet. Once you’ve finished the trail and filled in your answer sheet, you go back to the tent and get a certificate. There were two trails, one for younger kids like Tyler, and another for older kids. The lovely Active Slough guy took our photo (with Tyler’s upside-down map haha!), and we set off. I was actually glad Lily was asleep.
It was really fun trying to find each marker, like we were going on a treasure hunt. Tyler loved it. At each marker was a question to do with baby animals – what is a baby duck called? What is a baby hedgehog called? What is a baby rabbit called? We guessed some of the answers – do you know what a baby hedgehog is called?? – and Tyler wrote them in, using the pushchair hood as a surface. I’d recommend bringing a clipboard next time if you are going to do one of these trails.
What was lovely about doing this trail was discovering corners of the parks we hadn’t been to before, getting to see the whole park and being active without actually realising it. The trail took us 50 minutes. So that’s 50 minutes of walking, of gentle exercise, but it didn’t feel like it. It was fun! And Lily woke up right at the end lol.
We went back to the tent, gave back the pencil, found out the correct answers and Tyler got a certificate. We were also told they were doing another trail at Salt Hill Park on Thursday 12th April and to come along to that.
And if you’re wondering what a baby hedgehog is called, it’s a hoglet. A baby rabbit is a kit. We learnt something new!
Next time you see one of these Xplorer leaflets in your town (it’s not just Slough they do them in), don’t ignore it, go along and give it a try! It’s a free, fun activity that makes you think, get active and discover your local park. You can find your local Xplorer trail here.