One positive that has come from the coronavirus pandemic is getting more time to explore locally. Our local daily exercise is normally going for a walk in Colchester Castle Park. After nearly a year of these walks, they are starting to feel a little samey. Colchester Castle Park has created different walking trails for all ages and abilities. This week we explored the Colchester Castle Park Junior Ranger Trail.
What is the Colchester Castle Park Junior Ranger Trail?
All of the Castle Park walking trails are avilable to download from the Colchester Council website. This walking trail is suitable for children aged six to twelve years old. The aim of this trail is to spot the wildlife that visits and lives in Colchester Castle Park. The Castle Park Junior Ranger Trail should last approximately forty-five minutes. It is a circular walk that starts at the rear of Colchester Castle. There are six places on the map to visit, this is how we got on.
The Civil War Obelisk
The Civil War Obelisk has become a regular place to visit on our walks. The path near it perfectly slopes for the children to race their scooters down. It is at this point on the trail that they ask you to look out for squirrels. There are lots of squirrels here and they love being fed. They do come quite close to you if you have any food on offer. There are often people here feeding the squirrels seeds and nuts.
This is the high path were the children’s scooter downhill races start. The trail map tells you about the trees that line this walkway. The are called London Plane trees. This is also the highest point of Castle Park. You can see across the the whole park from this viewpoint. The trail asks you to count how many birds you can see from this path.
The Sensory Garden
We have never ventured into this part of the park before. I think it is the wrong time of year to visit the sensory garden on this trail. It asks you to spot bees and butterflies here. The sensory garden is full of plants that contain different smells. The children could only smell one that they thought smelt like coffee. We will visit the sensory garden again in the spring so that we can experience this part of the park in its full glory. We did enjoy looking at all the mosaics and the water feature in this garden.
The Snake Steps
We normally don’t walk on this path because it is steps. I once pushed the buggy up this path and vowed never again! The trail asks you to listen out for birds as you walk this path. Castle Park has lots of bird visitors.
The Boating Lake
The boating lake is the perfect place to spot ducks, swans, and seagulls. The trail asks you to count how many of the different birds you can see. If the boating lake opens this year we have made a promise to the children to take them out in one of the swan boats.
The Cricket Pitch Bridge
This is another area of the park we regularly pass but we have never stood on the bridge. The trail asks you to stand on the bridge and count how many fish you can spot. It also mentions that if you are lucky you might spot a kingfisher, otter or a water vole. We have seen a kingfisher before but never an otter or a water vole. The river was too high and fast for us to spot any fish. The children want to try and spot the fish again when the water levels die down.
We really enjoyed this trial it was nice to mix up our daily walk. We also got the chance to explore and learn more about areas we often pass. There is also a history trail to explore. We are looking forward to exploring that one too.