We’ve been to Black Park quite a few times before but never really explored it other than just walking around the lake towards the café and the children’s play area. Taking part in the Easter trail was the perfect opportunity to explore more fully whilst also having the fun of trying to find things along the way.
We picked up our trail sheets at the visitor centre for £3 each and sat to read the story of Edwina, the Easter bunny, and how a naughty cuckoo had stolen her eggs and left one egg in each of the nine bird boxes in the park, which when then guarded by one of Edwina’s animal friends until the children could find them. Each of the bird boxes contained a letter, and when all the letters were collected, they spelled out the name of the naughty cuckoo.
Our first bird box, guarded by Leonard the Lamb, was found just outside the café before we headed off into the woods, following a path that we had never explored before. Penelope the Python was guarding the next box and Bobby the Beetle guarded the third. I loved how excited the girls got when they spotted each of the animals on the signs up ahead and Jessica was very proud of herself for being able to identify each letter correctly. I didn’t have to do anything other than just write the answers down – it was nice to follow a trail where the girls could find the answers without any help from me.
Continuing our journey through the woods, we found Sally the Sloth, Kris the Kite and Warren the Wallaby guarding the next three boxes before we turned and headed towards the lake. Jessica made me chuckle as we spotted an arrow pointing upwards (indicating we needed to go straight ahead).
“Silly arrow!” she said. “We can’t go that way, we haven’t got wings!”
Although the girls had been happy to walk throughout the trail, I had brought the buggy just in case. The next part of the trail, which took us off the path and along the lake shore, was much more difficult to negotiate thanks to steps and tree roots all along the ground. It was just as well that neither of the girls were in the buggy – I would have found it impossible otherwise! Douglas the Dog was guarding the box next to the lake and there were lots of other dogs around enjoying a paddle which Jessica and Sophie were quite fascinated by.
Heading back towards the play area, we found our final two boxes – guarded by Tommy the Toad and Matilda the Mongoose and worked out that it was Christian who was the naughty cuckoo thief. We made our way back to the visitor centre where the girls received a chocolate bunny each as a reward for finishing the trail and solving the puzzle. Needless to say, the bunnies didn’t last very long!
It was a fair walk for the girls but they had both managed it without needing the buggy and still had enough energy left for a trip to the playground afterwards.
It was lovely to explore parts of Black Park that we had never explored before and looking at the map from the trail, there are still plenty more areas yet to discover – I think we will have to be a little more adventurous in our future visits!