This is a route plan for an outdoor activity for children under five years. It is a walk in Shoreham Wood with exploring and counting activities.
Shoreham Wood is near to Badgers Mount and Halstead, about 3.5 miles and 7 minutes drive from Rushmore House Montessori Preschool. It is a group of five woods linked by footpaths. We will visit Andrews Wood which has a car park and toilets in a wooden lodge. When we visited the wood in January the toilets were closed for maintenance, so don’t rely on them. On maps the car park marked as Shacklands Road Car Park. The address is:
The route in Shoreham Wood
Start at the Lodge
The wooden lodge can be seen from the par park. Go around the back to find the toilets. With you back to the lodge you are now facing in the direction you should travel.
Path to the bridge
Starting near the lodge is a surfaced road that has a sparse covering of grass. Follow this road to the bridge.
Bridge over the M25
This bridge crosses the M25. If this is the first time you come to Shoreham woods this may be the first time your child has looked down on to cars. Now you can see their roofs and what is being carried by trucks. Try to explain this road in terms of how you use it. Do you travel down the M25 to visit a relative, or go on holiday or shopping. Which direction do you travel? Look at the structure of the motorway, there are:
- Four lanes
- Two hard shoulders
- a central reservation
- road signs
What do they think these things are for?
Left after the bridge
Turn left after the bridge and follow the path.
Right at the post with holes
Turn right at the post with holes. You will travel over a slight rise and then down towards a valley. Keep an eye out for logs that your child can balance along. Also look for ferns. Ferns are some of the oldest plants on our planet. They are the food herbivorous dinosaurs ate!
You will come to junction with another path at the edge of Andrews Wood. Turn right here to continue, but first have a look at this carved bench.
Questions for your child:
- How was it made?
- What has been carved on to the bench?
- How many pieces is the bench made from?
- How many trees are there on the bench?
View of Meenfield Wood
Sitting on the carved bench you can see the fields in the valley floor with Meenfield Woods on the other side.
Half way along this path you will pass some picnic tables. If you brought a healthy snack with you this is a good place to eat it.
The kissing gate
The kissing gate gets it’s name from the way it touches (kisses) other parts of the fence, but is not secured.
With your back to the kissing gate you will see the path you were walking along carries on to your left to a fence beyond which is the motorway. A bit before this is poorly defined path into the woods. That is path to take, through the forest.
This fence is used by horse riders to tie up their horses. Nearby is a bench to help the riders mount their horses when they are ready to continue. (This is my guess, if you are knowledgeable about horses please let me know in the comments below).
There are lots of leaves on the forest floor. Have a closer look at the colours. Are some darker and some lighter than others? Are they different shapes? Collect some to take home for glue and sticking project.
On this path you will pass a holly bush. Have a look at the leaves. Can you see the sharp spikes? How many spikes are on each leave? Count each side separately to keep the number under ten.
The path continues to a junction. Turn left towards another hitching fence and mounting bench and follow the path to the bridge.
Back over the bridge
The path takes you back to the bridge. The first time you crossed the bridge you may not have spent much time here, eager to get back to the forest. Now you are almost back where you started you can linger here and have a look at the cars on the M25 motorway.
- The cars have many colours, what colours can you see?
- Use the cars for a counting game. Count cars of a chosen colour.
Back to the Lodge
After the bridge, follow the surfaced path back to the lodge. As you are leaving the bridge ask your child if they know where they are. Where is the car? Can you take me there?