Guest blog by Chris Ford, RSPB Learning Officer

Nothing marks the changing seasons at Minsmere like the arrival of flocks of autumn migrants. This year’s fledglings seeing, for the first time, the scrape, the reedbeds, the woods, the dunes and marvelling at such wonderful habitats full of life and wonder, the excited chatter testament to the thrill of new experiences, learning about themselves and of learning about what else lives out there and why.

I often wonder how they get to places like Minsmere. Obviously there are some old hands amongst them, guiding them, showing them the right way, teaching them. But how do the old hands know about us? What brings the teacher to wonderful places like Minsmere? Well… I suppose, it’s because someone else told them what a great place it is. Told them that this is important. Told them that you too should experience the natural world, learn about it, understand it, be out in it and to see it. They must already have discovered what an important thing it is to allow the next generation to also find out, to experience, to understand.

So, if your fledgling is re-joining a flock of other noisy youngsters this week, smartly dressed in new plumage ready for a journey of discovery and learning, why not mention to their ‘old-hand’, their teacher, about the importance of learning outside, in the real world. Be it in their local habitat or in world class habitats at places like Minsmere.

We’d love to see them come here and have a fantastic experience with our Learning Team. Autumn is a great time with changing colours, roaring stags, thousands of migrant birds and if it does get a bit cold and wet there’s always the warmth of the Discovery Centre. We offer a full range of curriculum linked programmes for Primary and Secondary students and can cater for under 5’s through to post graduate level.

Children experiencing the natural world. Photo by Eleanor Bentall (

If your fledgling isn’t joining a flock this autumn, you might be interested in bringing them along to our Reedlings sessions for under 5’s on the second Monday of each month. If they’re 5-11 bring them along to our seasonal sessions of Home Educated children the next one is Thursday 4 October.

For more information visit or contact our me, Chris, Minsmere’s Learning Officer

Happy Autumn!