In October I was approached by a lovely lady from the RSPB Centre at Weymouth Radipole Lake. They were looking to promote the children’s activities they offer and asked if myself and other Dorsetmums would like to have a little tour of the Reserve followed by some yummy tea and cake. I was pretty much sold on the word ‘cake’ but I was also very intrigued to see what was there and jumped at the chance to explore somewhere new.
I was a little nervous that myself and my son would be on our own but lucky for us 8 lovely Mums and their babies/toddlers arrived and everyone was in a great spirit and instantly started chatting to each other. Once we had everyone our organiser started to lead us out of the Centre and we went on a fantastic 1 mile circular walk around the Reserve. It seems very odd to see so much wildlife and then look up to see the Weymouth buildings in the distance. It really is a little haven in the middle of a great seaside town.
We were told all about the birds and other wildlife which can be seen and shown other routes we can take should we wish to walk further next time. The toddlers all seemed to love the boardwalks and areas where they could look out on to the water plus we also found the most amazing little picnic spot with wooden tables, chairs and sculptures.
An hour or so later we arrived back at the Centre and all sat down for some delicious goodies. Myself and my Son shared a delicious hot buttered tea cake and a piece of Dorset Apple cake however there were other cakes to choose from plus scones and other savoury food.
You can tell they have thought very hard about what they can offer children to teach and entertain them. While we were there they had a table set up with play doh and some fantastic artwork on display plus a corner full of books and toys.
On the other side of the room they had a display cabinet full of exciting finds like bugs, butterflies bones, feathers and snake skins. My Son was absolutely engrossed while the lovely volunteer talked and showed him each and every one (while I quietly prayed that he wouldn’t crush whatever it was in his hand)! He also loved the huge telescope although we told him about 10 times that he was looking through it the wrong way but he kept saying that’s how he liked it!
Good to know………………
The Centre offers free pond dipping, bug hunting and binocular/nature detective backpack hire for children all year round plus free children’s activities and books/games are in the Centre every day.
The Centre is available for hire in the evenings and they can also run educational sessions for schools/groups (costs apply).
Maps and leaflets can be found in the Centre should you wish to take a longer walk and read all about the area.
There are toilet facilities within the Centre including a Baby Change table.
You can purchase duck food from the Centre which the children will love. Be warned though, they are hungry and the birds will do what they can to get to it first! (I was tempted to get the camera out when a bird landed on my son’s head but thought it best to try and shoo it off instead).
Baby Wipes and Anti Bac hand gel are advisable for walking around the Reserve.
The pathways are perfectly accessible for pushchairs so you may wish to consider taking one if little legs get tired easily.
Location – Head to the pay and display Swannery Car Park in Weymouth which is opposite the Jubilee Retail Park and you will see the Centre at the far end. A more detailed map can be found on the Website.
Please check out the Website for details on how to join the RSPB plus future events at the Reserve. Some of the upcoming events include a children’s Christmas Decoration class, a Christmas Cake Decoration masterclass (one for Mums and Dads), a Family Otter Day and Bird Watching for beginners.
Thank you again to the lovely staff and volunteers at the RSPB Radipole Lake Centre, all of the Mums told me they had a wonderful time and we look forward to coming back again next year.
Dorsetmum & Dorsetson