Carymoor Enviromental Centre is a unique, magical place which combines a working landfill site with beautiful nature reserve and much much more. My youngest daughter affectionately refers to it as “Forest School” as we booked ourselves in for three Friday sessions of Carymoor fun. I’ve also taken my eldest two, but that was a few years ago. Carymoor is out in the sticks but near to the town of Castle Cary. They run sessions for kids and ones for grown ups too (such as scything or willow basket making), you do book in advance and some of them are fully funded by Somerset Skills and Learning which is awesome. I’d recommend getting on the Carymoor mailing list and checking out their events page. Oh and they also run school trips so please let your school know!
The first time I visited with my two eldest a few years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. You first drive past the working landfill site and see piles of compost! The eco centre is a really large, beautifully constructed wooden building. All of us parents and kids got invited inside for a cup of tea and colouring while we filled in some paperwork. I could honestly have stayed there all day it was so cosy and inviting.
The rest of the day took place outdoors and was so brilliant for the kids and throughout the day we did so many fun activities. We had a tour of the area, I promise you even if you go for your kids you will learn so much about nature. I learnt so much about Hawthorn trees! Across the site there were some large pieces of corrugated metal which the Education Officer Beth carefully lifted to check for mice and slowworms, it was so magical to see. I have to say that Beth and team were so knowledgeable and put so much into planning the session, it really made for an amazing and memorable day.
We were there over Easter so the session was egg themed! We did a quiz trail all about identifying different eggs, with clues across the site. We also sang songs in the celtic roundhouse, hunted for bugs with microscopes, made some leaf prints in clay and best of all learnt how to safely start a fire. After an amazing morning we had bought a picnic with us, so with permission had the picnic on the picnic benches amongst cowslips.
It was May 2021 before I was able to return with my youngest who had just turned four. The course I booked her onto was several Friday sessions specifically aimed at younger ones this time. It was absolutely brilliant, and this time I knew what to expect! Each session had a theme such as bugs, trees or birds. It was so lovely to be out in nature and even though the session is aimed at little ones, you’ll learn about identifying birdsong or trees or the difference between a male and female slowworm! The activities and crafts were really fun and we took home a birdfeeder, binoculars made of loo rolls and stickers and a crown with flowers stuck on!
You’ll learn to cherish and respect the natural world, you’ll also build your confidence by being in nature and as a parent it is so nice to have a day or morning that is all laid on, where your child is entertained and engaged with all that is going on.
Thank you Carymoor for such special memories.