COLUMNIST: Give it some wellies this half term in Sheffield

Picture by Jessica Lucia
Picture by Jessica Lucia
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February can be a horrible month. The weather is mostly manky, spring can feel a long way off, and no matter where you go you’re either wearing to many layers or not enough.

You might still be feeling the post-Christmas pinch on your finances, when suddenly half-term is here and you’ve got to entertain the kids.

Luckily, there are lots of things you can do right on your doorstep that won’t break the bank, and might give them an interest in something other than social media.

One of the easiest ways to see nature in action is in your own garden. Birds can find February really tough, so leaving out food and water is a good way to encourage them make your backyard their favourite hang out. It’s also the time when hole-nesting birds are looking for somewhere safe.

Unfortunately smaller birds like blue tits can get turfed out of the best spots, so give them a hand by putting up a bird box - it is National Nest Box week after all! You can buy them from us, or get hands on and make your own. It’s a great activity to do together, and you can customise your nest box to make it a very des-res.

With twelve nature reserves around Sheffield and Rotherham, you don’t have to go far to find one near you.

This is perfect if your children like to instigate their own adventures.

Set them a challenge - to find species, track footprints or make a den.

Let them get muddy! Our reserves cover different habitat types from moorland heath and urban ponds, to wetlands and wild woodlands, so there is always something different to discover.

Best of all, these adventures are free!

If you worry about the weather, why not drop into the Weston Park Museum on Tuesday February 21 for some Otterly Brilliant fun?

You can learn all about otters and how to find them, and of course there will be otter related crafts and activities to keep little hands occupied.

If you’d prefer something a little more outdoorsy, then come along to one of the Wild Play sessions for some family fun.

They take place in Ecclesall Woods and Greno Woods from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

Places book up fast though, so reserve yours online.

Don’t let February get you down - get outdoors instead.

You can find out more about our events, reserves and WildPlay Natural Products catalogue by visiting Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust