Looking for ways to keep the children interested in going for local walks during lockdown, I discovered a ‘Tree-mendous Tree Trail’ map online that is designed for children. There is also an adult version of the leaflet, so you could print both if you want. I just printed the children’s version though.
Location: Herschel Park – Entrances from Upton Close, Upton Road or Datchet Road through the Nature Reserve
Parking: FREE – small car park off Datchet Road SL3 7NR
Food: The nearest newsagent is on Albert Street if you want to buy refreshments, ice cream etc. Best is to bring a picnic.
This is the trail map – as you can see it’s quite simple and as the park isn’t too big, it can be easily done with young children. You can PRINT the map from this link.
The map is a few years old, so do note that tree number one (the Holm Oak) is not there anymore, but you will find this amazing cedar tree stump carving instead.
I originally thought a tree trail would not interest the children – being honest, it does sound boring. But, give them a map and anything is exciting! I was genuinely surprised at the interest they took in learning about the trees. The handy little notes on the other side of the leaflet helped make it more interesting. They turned into little tree detectives, studying the different types of bark and leaves.
Each tree has a marker with the number at the foot, so you will be able to find them easily. The trees on the trail are:
2 – Luscombe Oak
3 – Deodar Cedar
4 – Swamp Cyprus
5 – English Oak
6 – Horse Chestnut
7 – European Ash
8 – Turkey Oak
9 – Monkey Puzzle
10 – English Yew
The Monkey Puzzle tree at No.9 looked very amusing to the children, and not just because of its name. And the Cedar Tree at No.3 generated a lot of interest when we crushed the leaf needles between our fingers to get the spicy scent.
I don’t want to spoil the trail for you, so I am not going to share pictures of the trees we found. But I will share photos from the park, as it is absolutely beautiful and there are lots of pretty flowers, trees, wildlife and character houses to photograph.
We went in early May when rhododendrons were just starting to bloom. The park has these character lampposts along the paths, giving it an olde worlde charm.
The ornamental lake is lovely, and you will see geese and ducks here.
It is a popular park, and there are lots of families using it during lockdown, particularly around the lake – just be careful and stick to social distancing. We often walked on the grass rather than the paths to avoid other people.
There are lots of other interesting shaped trees in the park too, like the one above. The kids insist on having a picnic under it every time we visit this park. I downloaded an app on my phone called ‘British Trees’ so we could identify any other trees, and another app called ‘iPlant’ to name any flowers.
Before coronavirus, we would walk to this park. But to avoid people whilst walking here, I drive nowadays and park in the car park off Datchet Road. Then there is a short walk though the nature reserve to get to the main park. The nature reserve itself is another good reason to come here, it’s walkable for young children and just lovely. There are picnic benches by the car park entrance too.
We had a lot of fun doing the Herschel Park tree-mendous tree trail, and learnt a lot too. It is great to get outdoors, get children interested in nature, and it’s free!
I hope we have inspired you to do the trail.