After months of staying closeted up indoors it’s no surprise that our Halloween activities were met with enthusiasm this year. Both parents and children (and in some cases adults alone!) came to the reserve to enjoy our Spooky Halloween trails.

For the October half term we ran a Halloween trail, which centred around Wanda the Witch and her lost Halloween items. The kids loved it and screams of ‘I’ve found Wanda’s hat!!’ and similar could be heard from across the reserve. It’s hard to describe how much I’ve missed hearing children playing in and enjoying nature, what a tough year it’s been for them!

A cut-out piece of black board made the perfect ‘head-in-hole’ frame for family photos once the trail was complete. Some families reported having seen Deer and Red squirrels in the woodland and everybody enjoyed our lovely willow sculptures (these were the animals Wanda had transformed into wood).

For the Halloween weekend itself we planned an exciting pumpkin hunt in the woodland. Sadly, government restrictions meant that only people living in West Dunbartonshire were able to attend in the end, and heavy rain combined with 60mph winds made it a very spooky Halloween day that (understandably) not many wished to venture out into. The Sunday was thankfully a clearer day and once again the children really enjoyed the Halloween decorations and trail, getting eagerly stuck into their challenge. Visitors donated generously and a few even signed up as RSPB members. This allows us to keep up our vital conservation work on the reserve and create even more Homes for Nature!  

But most importantly, my time spent carving out pumpkins was not wasted! 

By Ash-Lynn Tavener

   Our 'Head-in-Hole' board

 The Mushroom pumpkin hidden in a tree

 Wanda's cat looking out at the viewpoint (painted by Barry Nisbet)

  A stick face I've started to call 'Old man Oak' kindly made by our volunteer Kathy