Ever since the first time I visited the Yeo Valley farm overlooking Blagdon Lake last Summer, I have had a fondness for the dairy company which has seen my shopping tendencies change. Gone are the Onken yoghurts, gone is the cheap milk for £1 and blocks of butter produced by a company which doesn't pay British dairy farmers a fair price. In has come Yeo Valley. It's not only a company which I'm proud to associate my blog with, but a range of products which I'd rather have in my fridge and our tummies. And ultimately, on my conscience.
As an ethical company, Yeo Valley have teamed up with The Woodland Trust to plant 10,000 trees and help preserve Britain’s wonderful woodland. On the underside lid of the special packs of Yeo Valley (marked with the Woodland Trust campaign) is a code which when entered onto the Yeo Valley & Woodland Trust page could result in one of 10,000 trees being won, either to plant in your own garden or donated to The Woodland Trust.
However, their partnership goes much further than that, and that's why a bunch of parent bloggers (including us) were invited to a Woodland Trust day at the Yeo Valley headquarters to meet with the people behind the campaign, and introduce our children to learning about their world via forest exploration and play.
We were welcomed to the Mendips by the larger than life Les, the head ranger at Yeo Valley, who explained to the children all about the different rocks that make up the strata of the hills. Introduced to the forested area by the Woodland Trust, we were invited to complete a leaf trail and a bug hunt which the children were completely engaged in. I was very surprised just how interested The Boy was in the different leaves around, and we quickly identified about ten different trees and bushes in a very small section of wood. Enlisting the help of the kind lady behind the Nature Detectives (the children's Woodland Trust club), he was able to find several different minibeasts as well.
After a luscious lunch prepared by the chefs at the Yeo Valley kitchen, we were revived enough to create dens for woodland creatures (or tiny aliens as Les told the children), and then produce a truly wonderful wizard's wand using detritus from the forest floor.
The wonderful sheets we used are available to download for free from the Nature Detectives website here. They are great generic sheets, and I would really recommend downloading them and using them during the forthcoming Autumn months.
The Woodland Trust have a club for young explorers called the Nature Detectives Club, which has a wealth of resources and challenges available for children. Membership is as little as £12 for one child for a year, as little as 25p a week.
We received a goody bag of Yeo Valley yoghurts to try out, marked with The Woodland trust campaign (and we've entered in our codes and donated trees) and a selection of the wonderful wildlife identification swatch books available to buy from The Woodland Trust directly. The Boy finds these fascinating, in particular the leaf book; it was his bedtime reading for a week after our trip to the farm!
We were invited as guests to the Yeo Valley farm to help promote their campaign with The Woodland Trust, and received the above items free of charge.