Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Pond Dipping & Apple Picking at Forest Farm Nature Reserve

apple harvest

I love the sweetness of simplicity that seems to roll in as the seasons change from Summer to Autumn and the fruit trees ripen and Harvest time is at hand. Last year we visited Forest Farm Nature Reserve open day which is lead by the rangers of this wild green space which attracts an array of wildlife and birds. We had such a fun time last year squeezing apple juice from a variety of different apples found in the wild orchard as well as worm charming and we even spotted a Kingfisher around one of the bird hides that we made this years open day a firm date in our diary.

little farmer

The rangers hall is not very big and I don't think that many people know about it, which in a way is better as it's not over run by crowds in anyway. This year among being able to walk freely among the apple orchard with it's long overgrown grass and filling our basket with a real variety of different types of apples we also got to try our hand at willow weaving and a spot of pond dipping. Luckily the RSPB were on hand to explain all the little beasties my eldest caught (and of course put back) from the pond including boatmen and Damsel fly nymphs which we both found very interesting. Also put my eldest Muddy Puddles jacket to the test, it's served us really well this past year and you really can't beat a yellow rain jacket can you!

Yellow raincoat

natural childhood

The rangers had also found some shedded grass snake skin around the pond earlier that day which was very exciting as my eldest loves reptiles and snakes. Unfortunately my youngest was a little under the weather but even so enjoyed all the activities with his favourite being able to eat apples straight off the tree as well as see all the Chaffinches Blue Tits fly back and forth to the bird feeders.

forest farm

Days like this pretty much sum up Autumn perfection and we spent a good few hours here enjoying some very simple but wonderful family time as well as some natural learning about the world around us. Now I just can't wait to make some apple cake and crumble with our little fruit harvest. 


  1. Such fun! We went pond dipping a couple of years ago on holiday and Frog loved it. I think we'll have to go again soon!

  2. What a gorgeous autumnal family activity! Looks like you had a fab time x

  3. oh this looks like such a great day!

  4. Oh gorgeous Laura - that little hat! xx

  5. We have apple day at our teeny tiny London city farm but your day out looks amazing!

  6. What a lovely family outing, I really want to do things like this with Elsie one day and how lovely to go home and make something from the apples you picked! x


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