I was asked by the Ecolint Scouts club if i could help the Brownies get their nature badge, all about Minibeasts. This is the 3 year running that I host the Brownies for a morning of garden fun, getting muddy and learning about insects. It's always a pleasure to get to send time with these young girls and help them develop a keen sense of adventure and love of nature.
The group arrived for 9h30 and after a quick tour of the garden and a conversation about what "eco" means, I set them off to find and identify at least 2 bugs; one dark-and-damp loving creepy crawly, and one flying or hovering pollinator. They were quick to spot fire bugs, ants (red and black), worms, snails, slugs, ear wigs and, bees. The insect I.D book was there to help anyone who wasn't sure who they had uncovered. walk in the forest helped us find woodlice and millipedes..amazing how these bugs and other microorganisms and eat their way through logs and bark!
What's a Slug burrito?
In an effort to save some of the plants we are growing in the Eco Garden the Scouts had to complete their mission of the day which was to pick up at least two slugs (leaf and slug wrap = a slug burrito) and throw it into the forest. As much as every insect has it's role and right to be alive I don't have much patience for the hundreds of slugs that invade the garden every year!
It always makes me smile to see those who wince and squeal at first when asked to pick up bugs.. but eventually forget their "fears" and begin giggling and competing with one another for slug burrito numbers!
We finished the morning by making hanging insect hotels made of recycled bottles, cardboards, bamboo and twigs to take home. As they left I noticed their pink leggings and sequence sneakers blotched with mud and dried leaves stuck in ponytails, and thought "today has been a good day" .)!