Chance for kids to get back to basics with ultimate free toy

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AS every parent knows, a stick is the ultimate free toy for a child.

Using nothing more than imagination, a stick can be transformed into almost anything a child wants it to be.

There’s a great opportunity to create stick adventures with your children at College Lake nature reserve, near Tring, on Saturday, March 31.

To mark the launch of their new book, The Stick Book, authors Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield are hosting a day of Adventures With Sticks from 11am to 3pm.

There will be storytelling, face-painting, and lots of things to make with sticks going on all day, making it an ideal family day out, so drop in whenever you like.

Take binoculars and spend a few minutes in one of the hides to see what’s happening among the birds on the lake. Take a stroll along the trails to spot birds nesting in the hedges, then pick up a few sticks to make nests yourselves.

College Lake nature reserve on Upper Icknield Way, Bulbourne is run by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.

Once a chalk quarry, it has been restored over 20 years into a mix of different habitats, supporting a number of breeding waders, butterflies and wild flowers.

It was one of the first places in the country to actively conserve cornflowers, which produce a glorious show of colour during June and July.

A new guide book is available, and there is now a new visitor centre with a large hide overlooking the lake and marsh area and a cafe.

Find out more at www.bbowt.org.uk