A VIP guest joined children at a pioneering woodmeadow between York and Selby as the Summer activities draw to a close.

Three Hagges Woodmeadow, just south of Escrick by the A19, celebrated its last Wild Wednesday session this year with a visit from North Yorkshire High Sheriff, Venetia Wrigley.

Mrs Wrigley spent a morning of nature, learning and fun with local schoolchildren.

The children took part in an exciting seven-week programme of wild challenge outdoor sessions, which included pond life, mini-beasts, habitats and planting and worked towards been awarded a RSPB Wild Challenge Bronze Award.

The High Sheriff said: “Three Hagges Woodmeadow is an incredible outdoor learning facility.

“It provides children with not only the freedom to run around, but also encourages them to explore and study nature.

“It has been a fantastic day building bug hotels with happy, engaged and brilliant children who were so enthusiastic to share their learning with me.

“Education in a natural environment like Three Hagges Woodmeadow is incredibly important and not enough children get the opportunity to explore what nature is all about.

“If you ask children where milk comes from, some would say out of a carton and if you asked them what a snail is, some children wouldn’t know and it’s difficult to learn these things from a book.

“I would encourage all the schools in the surrounding York and Selby area to bring pupils here and take part in Woodmeadow Trust’s wonderful outdoor education programme.”

Woodmeadow Trust Chair, Professor Dave Raffaelli judged the bug hotels that the children created and said: “It was wonderful to see the children so engaged and enthusiastic and it is proof that learning outdoors in an environment like Three Hagges Woodmeadow acts as a rich stimulus for creative thinking and learning”.

Angela Ferguson, the Education Officer at Woodmeadow Trust, commented: “Connecting with nature and learning outdoors with friends makes fond childhood memories. It keeps children connected with the environment, not only for enjoyment, knowledge and respect for the planet, but also for improved health and wellbeing.

“It has been wonderful for the children to welcome North Yorkshire’s High Sheriff to Three Hagges Woodmeadow and for her to join the children in their last wild challenge and award them a certificate. I heard one child say on her way out that it had been the best day in the woodmeadow ever.

“Education is key to our work here at Woodmeadow Trust and not only was it wonderful to see excited and enthusiastic children building bug hotels with the High Sheriff, but I also felt very proud that after seven weeks of learning, they were able to demonstrate how they understand the intricate life and the biodiversity that the woodmeadow offers,” she added.

Three Hagges Woodmeadow, a secure 25-acre woodmeadow, is the perfect venue for outdoor learning. Woodmeadow Trust’s outdoor education programme educates children of all ages in subjects that promote understanding of biodiversity and ecology.

Go to woodmeadowtrust.org.uk or email enquiries@woodmeadowtrust.org.uk