Signs of Spring Trail – Cranbrook Country Park

Cranbrook Country Park is a large area of land running through and around the new town of Cranbrook in East Devon. It is mostly flat with surfaced paths, there is loads and loads of open space, and the Crannybrook and its tributaries wending through. There are picnic areas, benches, an orchard, access to the stream and a fenced dog-exercising area. It’s situated close enough to the amenities of the town that you can visit the café or shop, use the toilets at the Younghayes Centre or incorporate a visit to one of the 2 fantastic play parks. The nearest pub is The Cranberry Farm.

This school holiday, Wild East Devon have set up a trail through the country park with a quiz sheet that you can fill in from information boards dotted throughout the park. You can pick up a leaflet in the Younghayes Centre during office hours, or print a sheet yourself from here. Whilst the questions are numbered you could complete them in any order, and it doesn’t matter how many you find and/or fill in.

We started at the train station, where there is ample free parking and clue 1 is close by. We followed the surfaced paths with the children on bikes and pushing buggies to find the rest of the clues. Some of the clues are situated away from the paths and require a little ‘off road’ exploration and it is very wet and muddy in places so wellies are highly recommended!

One of the clues was situated close to a little paddling area and right next to an awesome rope swing that kept our little gang occupied for quite some time, before we set off to complete the trail. Some of the questions are really quite hard for non -nature specialists and I ended up googling for answers, but the children weren’t at all worried and enjoyed reading the info and following the paths instead.

I thought I had explored the country park already but this trail helped to show me there was loads I hadn’t seen, and I’m really looking forward to spending more time there soon.

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