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  1. In October I was approached by a lovely lady from RSPB Radipole Lake in Weymouth as 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 we were 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 savoury food.  

    You can tell they have thought very hard about what they can offer children to teach and entertain the children.  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 a 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 enjoyed 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!


    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 – If driving, 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.  

    Thank you again to the lovely staff and volunteers at the RSPB Radipole Lake, all of the mums told me they had a wonderful time and we look forward to coming back again one day.


    *Any specific details were correct at the time of writing.
  2. In the summer I was asked by Di Castle I would like to review a book she wrote called ‘Grandma’s Poetry Book’ and after a little reserach online I had a feeling it would be enjoyed.

    grandmas poetry book 

    When I received the book in the post I had a quick flick through, giggled and then gave it to my mum to read at her leisure.  It took her forever to pick it up because she wanted to finish the book she was reading but once she started it she couldn’t put it down.  When she finished I then had a chance to read the poems and both agreed that it really was a lovely book of Poetry which enjoyably read almost like a story.  I really enjoyed being part of the authors witty and heartfelt journey and love that she lives in Dorset and mentions some of our favourite little haunts like Farmer Palmers and Monkey World.

    Some of the lines really made me chuckle and I couldn’t help but think of my mum when I read that she would ‘bang and wham the pushchair’ to get it to close.  Certain verses made me laugh too and I remember my mum phoning me in the early days and asking me similar questions about how life was and getting the same hazy zombie like responses.

    My favourite poems from the book included ‘The Imposter’ and ‘James’ and my mum loved ‘Putlake Farm’ as it’s one of their favourite places to go with her grandson. 

    So now that myself and my mum have read and enjoyed it I’m fortunate enough to have a good friend who has recently become a nanny for the first time.  This book is perfect for her as we used to sit in the office at work and silently cry with laughter as we’d ping each other funny little rhymes on the computer about our office life and the people we worked with. 

    Thanks Di, we really did enjoy your book and wish you lots of success.

    Grandma’s Poetry Book is a Collection of Poems written by Di Castle and illustrated by Denise A Horn and would be a perfect gift for any occasion.