This is a forest walk route plan for an outdoor activity for children under five years. It is a walk in Goddington Park with exploring activities, ending in a playground. This is a great walk for days with poor weather when you are not sure how long you can stay out with your child because your car is only 5-10 minutes walk away.
Goddington Park is in Orpington, about 3.3 miles and 10 minutes drive from Rushmore House Montessori Preschool. It has football and rugby pitches and has a car park. The car park is open morning to dusk, the times are on the Bromley Council website. The address is:
From the carpark
This forest walk is straight out and then back they way you came. Start in the carpark and skirt around the playground. After walk on the mud track with the hedge on your right side.
Public Footpath sign
At the corner of the field turn left a little and follow the Public Footpath sign into the wood. Now, slow things down, so your child has time to explore and examine their surroundings.
Following the path
With this walk you cannot really get lost or go off track. To your left is a football field and to your right is a farm field. So when you come to choice of path why not let your child choose and see where you end up. The choices will take you to either of the three environments and you can weave in and out between all three.
Throughout the forest you will see Ivy growing on trees. You can point it out to your child, but first read these articles on Ivy as a hazard.
Ivy is considered to be a hazard to young children because it contains a skin irritant and the berries are mildly poisonous. These articles give more information:
Show and tell
Things to see and talk to your child about Ivy:
- Ivy is evergreen, it does not lose it’s leaves in Autumn.
- Ivy climbs up the tree.
- Ivy is not parasitic, it does not draw nutrients from the tree, it just climbs up them.
- The Ivy stem is weak it, uses the tree it is climbing for support.
- The stems of the Ivy have hairs, or fingers that hold it onto the tree
- The leaves have five lobes, count them. Note that adult leaves exposed to sun may not have the lobed appearance, but these are usually high up and difficult to see.
Some logs left on the can be used for balancing. Hold your child’s hand to give them confidence.
Low level climbing
Keep a lookout for low level climbing opportunities on fallen trees and log piles.
When the football field to your left ends there is an exit to the farmers field on your right.
Farmers field path
A path runs alongside the farmers field. Explain to you child why to be careful not to trample the farmers crops.
Back to Playground
When you arrive at the corner of the farmers field you will see the Public Footpath sign where you entered the wood.
You can now see the playground you passed on the way to the woods and the carpark beyond it. If you have time you can visit the playground before you leave.