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Looking for a way to stay cool? Tourist attraction opens new mud kitchen

PUBLISHED: 06:51 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 06:51 25 July 2019

Kids at Pensthorpe prepare their finest mud pies PICTURE: Steve Adams

Kids at Pensthorpe prepare their finest mud pies PICTURE: Steve Adams

Steve Adams 2019 07398 238853

Schools have broken up for summer, and a nature reserve is hoping to tempt kids into their new mud kitchen and summer event.

Junior board members take their role very seriously PICTURE: Steve AdamsJunior board members take their role very seriously PICTURE: Steve Adams

Pensthorpe Natural Park, outside Fakenham, invited 'junior board' members to trial their new all-natural eatery. It features bowls, whisks and spoons, made from recycled materials, to help bake the perfect mud pie.

Kelly Lovick, play manager at the park, came up with the idea of the mud kitchen. "Messy play is important to support development of fine motor skills, but it is also a fantastic sensory experience.

"When I was young we didn't have the technology children do now, so I always made mud pies and got dirty in the garden. That's why we wanted to build our own mud kitchen, and it is such a simple thing adults can enjoy with children."

The junior board are a group of nine to eleven-year-old nature enthusiasts recruited by Pensthorpe in 2018 to give their opinions and be the first to try out new events at the park. They trialled the mud kitchen as well as a sensory barefoot walk, leapfrogging over tree stumps, playing giant noughts and crosses and den building.

Junior Board members pay noughts and crosses PICTURE: Steve AdamsJunior Board members pay noughts and crosses PICTURE: Steve Adams

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Junior board member Teddi Brindley, 11, enjoyed the trial, and her mother, Alexandra, said she talked about the barefoot walk on the drive home "She enjoyed climbing on everything.

"She didn't want to leave the mud kitchen and enjoyed playing giant noughts and crosses. She raved about her experience, and said she can't wait for the holidays so we can visit again."

Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, said: "There are lots of opportunities to learn about and celebrate the natural world this summer.

Kids at Pensthorpe prepare their finest mud pies PICTURE: Steve AdamsKids at Pensthorpe prepare their finest mud pies PICTURE: Steve Adams

"Young nature enthusiasts will learn about the importance of pollination, how many spines a hedgehog has, how fast a hare can run, the rare creatures swimming in the River Wensum and much more.

"Our summer event is all about getting families to have fun together with trails, challenges and activities, while rediscovering some of our forgotten childhood games."

The summer event, Nature's Wild Tribe, encourages children to hunt, track and follow nature around the reserve between 25 July and 3 September 2019.

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