. . . . . . . . Hough Mill open 2-5pm Sundays to end of September . . . . . . . . . .

Califat Spinney Children’s Trail

Woodland Activities for Children and Families

Trail opens Sunday 8th August   Come and join us to try it out.

Come and visit our new exciting Califat Spinney Trail AND BECOME A CALIFAT TRAILER today.

There are lots of things to do all the year through!   The trail will change as more features are added.

This webpage tells you a little about the Trail to help you and your family to enjoy our woodland.  The trail has been designed to use natural materials such as wood, much of it recycled from woodland management activities.

Families enjoying a walk from Swannington, Green and other villages can visit the Califat Spinney via the public footpaths from St George’s Hill, Limby Hall Lane, Moor Lane and Mill Lane.

There is also a Gorse Field Children’s Trail next door.

Click on map to enlarge

1 Visit our Den Building Area

Make your own den or shelter using only natural materials from the woodland floor.

No Planning Permission required!

No skills required! Just loads of imagination!


There are materials already near at hand to help you to become a Master Den Builder!  Please do not cut or rip any branches off trees.

Some tips to help you: –

  • Think about the shape of your shelter
  • Look for different sized sticks
  • What covering will your den have?
  • The Woodland Trust website has some good ideas for Den Building.
  • We look forward to seeing some of your dens very soon!  Have great fun constructing!

Question – Can you name one of the trees or plants you saw in our Den building Area?

Thin bendy sticks are best for weaving between thicker sticks
You can leave a side open so your parents can pass you food
Use lightweight branches when building tall dens

2 Tiggy-winkle Terrace – Our Hedgehog housing area

Can you help us to save Mrs Tiggy-winkle and all of her family?  In Britain the number of hedgehogs is declining rapidly.

In the Spinney we have created a hedgehog housing area to help our Swannington hedgehogs.

Tiptoe quietly past Tiggy-winkle Terrace as our hedgehogs may be sleeping.

Califat Trailers can also help hedgehogs at home. Here are 5 things you can do to protect these lovely creatures: –

  • Leave some areas of wilderness with piles of leaf litter and logs where hedgehogs can snuffle for insects.
  • Build your own hedgehog house in a quiet area of your garden. Food and fresh water will encourage hedgehogs to return.
  • NEVER FEED HEDGEHOGS MILK as it makes them poorly. A bowl of fresh water will be just yummy.
  • Try not to use slug pellets. These can kill hedgehogs.
  • Hedgehogs like to move from garden to garden so it’s useful to give them openings between boundaries.


There are many websites providing information and ideas for how you can help hedgehogs!  Become a HEDGEHOG HELPER today!

Question – What word is used to describe animals that sleep in the Winter?

You could build a hedgehog house in your garden

3 Hopscotch Area


Did you know that the Romans played Hopscotch?

The original courts were over 100 feet long – and used for military training exercises!

Hopscotch Rules

See PARENTS Website for rules and other game ideas.  Instructions can also be found next to the Hopscotch Court in The Califat Spinney.

Question – What is the Guinness World Record for the fastest game of Hopscotch?

Who is the best hop scotcher in your family?

4 Picks and Shovels

Picks and shovels reflects the coal mining history of the Califat Spinney.

Play like noughts and crosses.

Picks and shovels court

5 Wind In The Willows Reading Area

Come and enjoy reading a book in our Wind in the Willows Reading Area.

Choose from our collection of fascinating, exciting and interesting books reflecting the many aspects of The Califat Spinney!

When you have finished reading please put the books back safely in the Reading Box for other Califat Trailers!

Question – Do you know who wrote The Wind in the Willows?

The ideal spot to read your parents a story if they are tired after their walk

6 Balancing Act

Can you walk along our Zig – Zag balancing beams without putting one foot on the ground?

How quickly can you complete the course?

Be sure to let friends and relatives have a go too!   Who will be the winner?

Question – Can you name some of the trees and plants by the Balancing Beam?

7 Kerplunk

Coming Soon to our site

8 Boris The Spider

Come and meet Boris our very friendly spider.  The name comes from the 1960’s band The Who.

He is very fragile and sensitive, so please be gentle with him.

Can you find any of Boris’s relatives on the Trail?

Spiders have a bad press but they’re essential for our ecosystem.

They eat bugs that eat our crops such as aphids and caterpillars.  Some scientists believe that there would be famine without them!

What other information can you discover about spiders?

Question – What type of spider can you find on the Mill pond?

Boris the spider

9 Creativity Circle

And Weave Away!

Create your own woven picture on our Giant Weaving Frame.

Weave away using all the materials you find on the ground.

Pebble and Nature Materials Floor Pictures

Use the pebbles by the Floor Picture Frame to create your own pictures and designs.  Or if you prefer collect leaves, twigs etc. from the woodland floor to create your own pictures.

Chalk And Slate Pictures

Use the tables to draw your chalk pictures.  Please rub out your pictures and put the slates and chalk back in the box for other Califat Trailers to use!

Thin bendy stems are best for weaving
Only use plants where there are lots of the same plant

10 Fairy Glen

Industrial Fairies

All around the British Isles are tales of fairies but did you know that they work very hard in metal working and mining.

They mine for coal and ore.  These fairies have may names depending on where they live in the country – ‘nuggies’, ‘bockles’, ‘gathons’, ‘cobynau’, and ‘knockers’.

These fairies are often heard but not seen – the sounds of their tiny picks, wheelbarrows can be heard deep in the mines.  They dig, transport and wind their coal to the surface.

Our local fairies are mentioned in a performance given in Coleorton on Candlemass Day in 1618.

Have a look at the webpage on Industrial Fairies for more information!


  1. Welcome to the Califat Fairy Glen!
  2. Come nearer and quietly tiptoe in!
  3. If its fairies you are seeking,
  4. Then be quiet – that means no speaking!
  5. Look with your eyes – believe what you see!
  6. Is that a fairy up there on a tree?
  7. Do not touch and be careful as you go
  8. Leave no trace behind in the snow!
  9. Or either on the soft ground!
  10. So our mining fairies will prosper and abound!
  11. Come back and visit again and again!
  12. You may hear sounds from their underground den!

We hope you enjoyed visiting Our Califat Fairy Glen!

We would love to see YOUR fairy story, fairy poem or fairy drawing.

Please leave them on our Facebook page!  We look forward to reading them!

Question – Can you find other places in the UK where Industrial Fairies live?

11 Bing Bang Bong Area

“If music be the food of love, play on”. (William Shakespeare) That is what we would like our Califat Trailers to do!

  1. So find a stick and have a go!
  2. Bing, bang, bong, fast or slow.
  3. See what music you can make
  4. Make some NOISE
  5. Keep everyone awake!


Question – What is meant by the word ‘percussion’?

12 Hug a Tree

Tree hugging!

  1. Most people enjoy a hug and so do trees!
  2. In our Califat Spinney we have some whoppers that would enjoy a hug!
  3. Some of these trees are over 100 years old.


  1. Stand around our big old trees,
  2. Go ahead and give them a squeeze!
  3. Your stress will drop
  4. You’ll definitely feel better!
  5. And the trees will love you forever!


Question – Can you identify the trees that are in our Tree Hugging areas?  Look at leaves, bark and tree shape to help you.

Sycamore trees
Ash trees

13 The Stumpery

A Stumpery is a Garden/Woodland feature that looks a little like a rockery but is made of wood.

We have planted ours with ferns.

You could have a go at building your own Stumpery at home – any wood will do. Dead wood makes a wonderful wildlife shelter and provides food for a range of beetles, solitary bees and woodlice, amongst others.

Look on the Internet for ideas and pictures to help you!

Enjoy a picnic in our Stumpery but please remember to leave it as you found it.  Califat Trailers leave no rubbish behind for fear of damaging our woodland area.

Question – Can you find out which famous person in the UK has a very large Stumpery? (They are a member of the Royal Family)

14 Bird Boxes

There are 11 bird boxes within our Califat site.  Each has been individually decorated.

These are for small birds such as wrens, tits, sparrows and robins.

Which is your favourite bird?

Let us know if you find a box has been inhabited!

On each tree under a box is an interesting fact about birds.

Download our Bird Box Trail and see if you can find all of them.

Question – Which is the smallest bird found in the UK?

15 Animal Sculptures

Keep your eyes peeled for the animal sculptures.  Can you find?

  1. 1. Sonic the Hedgehog
  2. 2. Basil the Fox (and his Brush)
  3. 3. Squirrel Nutkin
  4. 4. Woody the Tawny Owl
  5. 5. Barney the Barn Owl

Question – What types of squirrel are found in the UK?

16 Bug Hotels And Bug Houses

On our site we have a number of Bug Boxes and a Bug Hotel.  They provide safe places for insects to hibernate.  They are especially good for lacewings and ladybirds.

You can have great fun building your own at home.  A simple idea is to drill holes into dead logs.  Look for places in the shade and a little damp.  The insects will love it.  (Adult help will be required)

See how many you can find on our trail!

Question – Why is it important to look after our creepy


17 Scavenger Hunt

To be added