This week there is a shared theme of #SimplePleasures of #YorkshireTreasures; we are contributing to this by offering 15 things, 1 per day on our Facebook, Insta and Twitter, that you can easily do to whilst enjoying Yorkshire- all with a rewilding feel! You can do them on your own, with friends, family and children- if you think you’re too grown up for any- then it’s even more important that you do them!
1. Have campfire and share it with friends and family. On an evening there’s nothing better than lighting a small campfire and sitting by ts flickering flames. Many campsites have fire pits, or you can use a barbecue bowl. Whatever you do- make sure it’s done in a safe place, with adult permission and using wood from an appropriate source!
2. Toast a marshmallow! it’s the archetypal campfire treat! Stick a marshmallow on a skewer and pop it near the fire! Once it’s melted then sandwich it between two biscuits- chocolate digestives are my favourite!
3. Take note of the small things: as you walk through woodland, over moorland or past meadows- look for the small things. This vibrant Forget Me Not was spotted at Raithwaite Estate last week- it’s tiny but distinctive. Grab yourself a small flower guide and soon you’ll be able to name them. But go further, research any ethnobotanical uses they have and the place they have in folklore!
4. Enjoy the sunshine: if you’re walking on the moors or through a forest- just stop and enjoy the sunshine! Sit on the dry ground and feel its warmth. It might be that there’s a warm breeze! Winter can seem a long time- treasure the pleasure of summer sun when you can!
5. Make a bread twist: this really is a simple pleasure! Make a basic dough using plain flour, salt, oil and water. Peel the bark from a stick and twist the dough around it. Jab the end of the stick in the earth near the fire and occasionally rotate it. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes to bake- but then it’s gorgeous. It can be nibbled off the stick or gently teased off- then honey drizzled into the hollow!
6. Make elder jewellery: did you know the branches of elder have a spongey pith- it can be easily hollowed out. If you cut short lengths (about 1-2cm) of elder and hollow the centre with a screwdriver you’ve made elder beads! These can then be threaded onto wool to make either a bracelet or a necklace! Make sure you have permission to cut the elder- and ask permission of the old crone who is rumoured to live within the tree!
7. Hapa Zome: this is a Japanese art, which roughly means leaf dying. In effect- it’s bashing leaves and flowers with hammers! We do it with small rectangles of calico- collect some flowers and leaves- arrange them on one half of the fabric, fold it over- place on a tough surface and whack! The pigment will soon bleed into the fabric!
8. Swing on a tarsy! A rope and a stick! That’s all you need! It’s like a magnet for children when it’s hanging from the bough of a tree. Recently a child came to activities and had never been on a tarsy! That’s can;t be right- no childhood should pass without a tarsy! Also, many children don’y know that a tarsy is named after Tarzan!
9. Greenwood work: you’ll need a decent sheath knife and some freshly cut greenwood. Even if you just whittle a point onto a stick- it’s a fabulous way to spend 20 minutes or a full day! If you’re more adventurous you can carve a spoon or a quirky skulk of foxes!
10. Forage for wild greens: as long as you know what you;re looking for- you can get some nice treats. The dock, dandelion and plantain leaves are just going out of season- becoming a little bitter in taste. But there’s still plenty of wild garlic and nettles to find! Lots of recipes can be found be a quick Google search- why not try cooking them in tempura batter!
11. Play in the mud: if it’s a muddy puddle, a pan with mud in or a full mud kitchen- there’s lots of scope for fun and creativity with mud! Within no time there will be mud soup, mud cakes and pies galore!
12. Walk a section of the Cleveland Way: did you know this long-distance path is celebrating it’s 50th birthday! We cannot have a Yorkshire Treasures theme without it featuring! There’s the honey-pots of the route, like Capt. Cook’s Monument, Roseberry Topping and the coastal sections near Whitby; but also some lovely quieter sections- such as Black Hambleton over near Osmotherley, and Helmsley to Sutton Bank!
13. Spot a rainbow: as I write this we are having one of those really heavy showers in early June. But soon the clouds will pass and the sun will be out. When it does- head outside and see if you can spot a rainbow; this is even more of a pleasure if you find yourself high up overlooking a valley.
14: Seek out the bluebells: these vivid flowers are iconic to British forests- they are also an indicator of ancient woodland. The North York Moors has several carpets of bluebells- these were spotted just below Roseberry Topping!
15. Cook on a campfire: there is a special feeling when cooking on a fire- even more so if you are cooking together. You can make a small snack- such as a cheese and bean melt as seen here- or a big hearty stew. My favourite is sweet potato dahl!
Well, that’s our 15 #SimplePleasures of the #YorkshireTreasures. As we finish the theme on Friday 21st June- we will be celebrating the Summer Solstice- so a great time for you to head out and enjoy the delights this region has to offer!
Did you know we love to lead and share outdoor adventure experiences with you, in wild places to promote physical, mental, emotional and social well-being! There’s lots planned over the summer- including Wild Activity Days at Baby Moon, Dunsdale- and Adventure Activity and Family Adventure Days at Raithwaite Estate. Take a look at the events on our Facebook page for details.