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meet the snails

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Meet the Snails Days

I've booked two Meet the Snails days for accompanied children aged 5 - 14 on August 2nd and 15th. They will be in the afternoon between 2 and 4 at Cherry Orchard Nature Reserve, Court Hill, Littlebourne and you can book through the online shop.

Littlebourne reserve pond May 2014

This week I met up with Emma Jenkins again and got updated on Kent Children's University  @K_C_U. When we were at Brogdale, Slow Summer Snail Farm was a Learning Destination for members of KCU to gain credits in their passports. Having moved to the allotments we were ready to rejoin the wonderful process of engaging children in learning about living things.

KCU Logo hi (with TM 2010)

Schools that join the scheme issue the children with Passports to Learning which record their achievements outside school. Lots of visitor attractions like Sissinghurst have activities that the children can do when they visit and get their passports stamped. Meet the Snails days will be worth two credits for children whose schools are members of the scheme. The children will have the chance to learn all about snails and you can enjoy our village nature reserve at the same time.

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Meet the Snails

The snails put on a good performance yesterday for Clocktower Holiday playscheme. They showed off their little black teeth and explored a lot of small hands. We managed to persuade four ‘runners’ to wander about the race track for a long time before one accidentally found the edge and was declared winner. Lots of people told me about a new cartoon feature film called ‘Turbo’ about a snail that could go very fast. But having read the write-up on it I don’t think I'll bother going.

I’m sure the gardeners of this world will be delighted to hear that this is turning out to be a very bad year for snails. My babies are still not very big and they should be nearly ready to sell by now. The late Spring followed by the extended hot dry spell have made life very difficult for them.Image

How snails cope with life in the snail farming regions of Italy I can’t begin to imagine. But my Italian Roman snails are enjoying life in Kent and especially the cherries.

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Meet the Snails day

Festival time again! It’s the Strawberry Fayre at Brogdale this weekend so Sunday is the first ‘Meet the snails’ day of the summer season. I will be there with snails big and small explaining how they live to anyone who wants to listen. You can handle the big snails and let them explore your fingers. They’ll probably give you a gentle nibble to see what you’re made of but it doesn’t hurt – it tickles.Image People are often surprised to find that snails lay eggs but gardeners usually say ‘Oh that’s what they are!’ They’ve seen them in the garden, probably in the soil round a potted plant, but didn’t know what they were. The baby snails, for the mini snail farms, will wow everyone as usual – even people who don’t like snails have to admit that the babies are cute. Their shells are translucent and they move so fast, waving their ridiculously long antennae.Image

As well as the Roman snails I’ll be taking some petit gris – the little snails that are so popular in France.Image

(a reader who is more observant than I am noticed that this photo has been reversed so that the snail shell is spiralling the wrong way!)

Look forward to seeing you there!

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