Ardingly Reservoir with kids – Roll, Spot, Pick adventure

running slope Ardingly ReservoirThis month – early September – the kids went on a roll, spot, pick adventure at Ardingly Reservoir in West Sussex. After a recent outing taking photos of the wild flowers at this nature reserve, I put together a spotter sheet for a return visit with my twins.

Rolling at Ardingly Reservoir

But…as soon as they were out of the car, they shouted in glee at the sight of the slope between the reservoir and the car park. A perfect hill for rolling! And so they did…again and again.

Luce rolling Ardingly Reservoir Theo rolling Ardingly Reservoir

Spotting at Ardingly Reservoir

Then off they went with their spotter sheets searching for wild flowers.

Spotter sheet late Summer Wild PlantsI was worried that some of the wild plants would have already disappeared but they found all on the sheet except two entries. We couldn’t find any Common Toadflax – also known as ‘butter and eggs’ – even though they can flower right into November. The mushrooms I had found on the slope were also gone as the grass had just been mowed.


You can download and print the Ardingly Reservoir spotter sheet for kids here (for personal use only):  Spotter sheet late Summer wild plants

ticking Ardingly Rservoir spotter sheet

Great Willowherb still grew along the fence by Ardingly Reservoir.Some of the wild flowers – such as the Ragwort – were beginning to wilt and a bush with Rose Hips looked worse for wear. But the kids could still tick the box on their spotter sheets after finding them.wilting RagwortKids spotter sheet Rose HipsTheo was excited to discover first some Hemp-Agrinomy at the start of the woodland part of the trail. And a large spider spinning amongst its wild flowers. Finding Hemp AgrinomyHemp Agrinomy with spider

Picking at Ardingly Reservoir

Then we continued along the woodland path in search of blackberries. I had included them on the spotter sheet but I had also brought with me cups so they could pick them.

Blackberry picking Ardingly Reservoir Trail

picking blackberries

Of course it turned into a competition on who could pick the most blackberries.

comparing blackberries

On our return home I continued to look out for wild flowers…

Wildflowers at Ardingly Reservoir

While my kids ate all the blackberries they picked!

Hand covered in blackberry stains

No matter when you visit, Ardingly Reservoir will remain a perfect place for kids to do ‘hill rolling’ and I’ll be planning some more hunts with spotter sheets as the seasons change.

Kids Late Summer Nature Spotter Sheet

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