Tag Archives: Forest School

Summer Newsletter (Aug 2014)

Friends of Howsham Mill Newsletter. Summer 2014 Edition.

So this is what has been happening over the past few months…down at t’Mill

A field trip from Bootham School gave us the opportunity to try something new at the mill – camera trapping wildlife. With the help of James McConnell and Hannah Henshaw of NatureSpy.org , five camera traps were set up in likely-looking spots and left for seven nights. The cameras are triggered by movement to record short sequences of HD video – full colour by day, infrared at night. The cameras were collected in with the help of the Bootham students, and we gathered around the big screen in the mill to see what they might have picked up. The results far exceeded our expectations for a first attempt – lovely footage of roe deer families, badgers wandering the woods night and by day and drinking in the canal, a rat taking a swim, foxes and brown hares in a hurry, bank voles and wood mice going about their business and our elusive otter were all caught on film along with wood pigeons, Canada geese, pheasants, a yellow wagtail and what might be a kingfisher. The island proved itself a perfect location for camera trapping, with its variety of habitats and plentiful wildlife, and the mill itself was the perfect place to review the footage – everyone could share the excitement of watching the results unfold. The camera exercise took place in conjunction with an evening bat walk and an overnight small mammal trapping session, a combination of activities that gave our visitors a wonderful experience of the special furry fauna with which we share the site.


Kids Outdoors Camp – 18th – 22nd August

Kids Outdoors offers a fun, nature-based day camp for children from 9-12 years old. The camp will be based in woodlands around Howsham Mill within 20 mins of York and would offer a range of outdoor activities.

 It’s an opportunity for kids to relax and enjoy being in nature, exploring and creating with what they find. Do they love just climbing trees or making dens? They will have the opportunity to do this. They can also take part in nature hikes and observation activities. We will learn to engage with the natural environment with all our senses – what can you hear – see – smell – feel and taste. We will learn about foraging — maybe we will make a snack out of safe natural ingredients we find in the woods! We will teach storytelling using the tools of the forest around us.

 Just a few of the activities we hope to cover during the week: making shelters, learning about the Mill, cooking over a fire, climbing trees, identifying plants, animals tracks and traces, mapreading, storytelling, whittling, nature crafts.

It costs £30 a day or a discounted £130 for the week. For more information please contact Isabel Jagoe –


Upcoming Events

18th – 22nd August – Kids Outdoors Camp (see above)

11th September – Oil Painting Class – 10am to 4pm – £15. Materials are needed so please get in touch. Pre-booking is essential.

13th – 14th September – Heritage Open Day Weekends – Come down to the Mill to find out about the historical building methods that were used on the restoration of the project. On Sunday 14th – there will also be children’s activities making lanterns. 10am-4pm.

20th September – Quilting workshop – 10-1pm – £10.

23rd-24th September Wirework Workshop – Ducks. This is a 2 day course. £40 inc. materials. Pre-booking is essential.

To book on to a course please contact Jen Wakefield at jw.howshammill@gmail.com. All payments should be by cheque, which are payable to the Renewable Heritage Trust and post it to 30 Cayley Close, York, YO30 5PT.