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Nature Connections 25 - Alphabet Challenge, Sun Dials and a Writing Competition

It may not be sunny all day today but I have included the sun dials activity for you to try out on the next fully sunny day we have. However, you can give the ‘Wild Inside’ writing competition a go whether you are inspired from your exercise walk, being in the garden or looking out the window or from looking at images of the wild outside. Good luck and get writing!

Out and About -Alphabet Challenge Walk

Sussex Wildlife Trust challenged us all to go on a walk and keep a look out for these 26 common local species. You don’t need to do anything other than spot them but could collect them by taking photos. To download the spotter sheet below, copy this link-

In the Garden – Sun Dials

You will need: a straight 1 m long stick (bamboo is ideal), a watch or clock, 12 small stones or pebbles.

  1. Find a sunny area that gets full sun exposure all day long and push the stick into the ground. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, slightly slant the stick toward the North. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, slight it slightly toward the South. If you don’t have access to a grassy area with soft earth, you can fill a small bucket with sand or gravel and plant the stick directly in the center of it.

  2. Start at 7:00 am if you want to complete the sundial in a single day, begin in the morning after the sun has fully risen. Survey the stick at 7:00 a.m. As the sun shines down on it, the stick will cast a shadow. Use one of your pebbles to mark the place where the end of the shadow falls on the ground. You could chalk on the pebble the number (hour).

  3. Return to the stick every hour. Set an alarm or keep an eye on your watch so that you can update the dial at the top of every hour. Return at 8:00 am and use another pebble to mark where the stick’s shadow falls on the ground. Do the same thing at 9:00 am and so on. The shadow will move in a clockwise direction.

  4. Continue this until process until dusk. Return every hour and mark it with a pebble on the ground. Do this until there is no more sunlight left in the day. Your sundial will be complete at day’s end. As long as the sun is shining, you can use this simple device to tell what time of the day it is.

Staying at home – ‘The Wild Inside’ Writing Competition 

We invite you to get creative and write up to 30 lines of poetry – or up to 500 words of prose – on the theme of: the wild inside.

Age categories | Under-18s Poetry | Under-18s Prose | Over-18s Poetry | Over-18s Prose

Deadline | Noon, 18 May 2020

Prize | £50 book bundle for all winners

To enter

Send your submissions with your name and age category in the subject line (e.g. “John Muir, Under-18s Poetry”) to

Rules and judging

  • All prose entries should be under 500 words and poetry entries limited to 30 lines

  • All entries must be in by noon on 18 May 2020

  • Winners will be announced by end of May

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