Set within the impressive backdrop of Chatsworth Estate, the first ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show last weekend was the must-see Peak District event of 2017. Despite problems earlier in the week due to traffic and adverse weather conditions, it has already been announced that the RHS will be coming to Chatsworth for years to come! So don't worry if you missed it this year!
We were lucky enough to contribute to this fantastic event, by delivering a series of Bush Craft sessions in the Outdoor Classroom. We set up a cordage station so the children could try and make a 'Survivor Wristband' using Raffia. This natural material is made up of fibres taken from the Raffia Palm tree found in Madagascar and Tropical Africa.
We then explored Shelter Construction, using branches collected from the Mount Cook woods. We set the children the challenge of creating a stable structure which they could sleep in, putting their problem-solving and communication skills to the test. Next we moved onto Campfire Gadgetry. Finally we introduce the Bow Drill; a prehistoric drilling tool most commonly used for friction fire lighting. Our group Bow Drill set means that everyone can get involved with the fun!
Whilst at the show, we were able to pick up ideas for our own Centre. Including this brilliant community of Bug Hotels, lovingly crafted by Primary School pupils from across the Midlands who had been learning all about the bugs who like to live in our gardens.
The Bug Hotel Competition was designed to spread the message of biodiversity and the importance of gardening for wildlife within schools and the local community. As part of the brief, the children had to created hotels inspired by architecture: past, present and future. We spotted Bug Hotels which celebrated Big Ben and The Shard!
The hotels also had to be made completely from scratch, including elements of dried or living plant material. At least 10% of the hotel had to be planted, which could be in the form of a green roof or within the structure to make the bugs feel cosy and at home. Our favourite hotels featured signs advertising 'Rooms to Rent for Bugs!' and 'This way to the bug swimming pool!' We hope to build similar structures on our own site in the near future.
As we wandered around the event, we came across some impressive pieces of artistic sculptures, as well as the stunning show gardens:
We were absolutely delighted to be a part of an event which so proudly celebrated plants, wildlife, the great outdoors and the beautiful Peak District. It was inspirational to see so many people, young and old, so enthused with the natural world. We can't wait for RHS Chatsworth 2018!!