October - Explore, Navigate, Orientate
The seasons are changing, and now we are very much into the crisper, fresher autumn months.
We will be putting on some great activities during October (especially during the half-term holidays), all to do with exploring our surroundings and beyond, orientating ourselves within our communities and navigating our way around the borough.
Autumn is a great time to explore your local park or green space. The trees are changing colour, the daylight hours allow you to be able to watch an awesome sunrise or even gaze at the stars at night.
Grab a coat and get yourself out there exploring - and, most importantly, stay active! Who says you can't stay active during the colder months?
Things to do in our parks this autumn
Head to your local park or somewhere new and, while you are there, have some fun! Here are some suggestions:
- the weather is still good enough for an autumn picnic - why not pack up your favourite snacks and wrap up warm for some alfresco dining?
- jump in a pile of leaves!
- get the wellies on and go puddle jumping
- look for silvery spider webs – maybe, if you have time, watch the spider make its web. It is fascinating to watch!
- collect conkers and pine cones
try out some leaf crafts with the children: as we head into autumn, there are lots of different coloured leaves to look out for - why not grab a bundle and create an autumn masterpiece in the park for other people to admire, you could use collected pine cones and conkers too
If you're having fun out in our parks, share it with us! Post your pictures on our parks Facebook page.
Help our bumblebees this October
We are getting towards the end of the season for bumblebees, as their queen will be retiring to her nest over winter. We will look forward to seeing them again in the spring.
But that doesn't mean we should stop helping them. See the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's guide of what you can do to help bumblebees over the winter.
It is also a great time to sow a wildflower meadow in your garden. While you are out exploring in Chesterfield, it is the perfect time to grab some seeds or have a look online for a native seed supplier. You can use this online resource from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to plan your garden at home and make it more bee and other pollinator friendly.
Don't forget to also look out on social media for seed bomb-making during the school holidays!
Get out walking by the rivers in Chesterfield
Don Catchment Rivers Trust (DCRT) have produced walking trails in and around Chesterfield - why not give one of them a try and explore somewhere new?
The trails include central Chesterfield, the Hollingwood Hoop and the Holmebrook Valley Trail. You can find out more on the Hidden Heritage website.
There is also the Rivers of Life walk, which takes you into Spital Cemetery where you can find and uncover its secrets - visit the DCRT website for more information.
Help Don Catchment Rivers Trust look after our heritage
The DCRT carry out important work in looking after our local rivers and streams. If volunteering for the organisation might interest you, it is the perfect way to discover your local area.
Volunteers meet to clean up local rivers in Chesterfield every Thursday, from 10am to 1pm, at a different location each week. This month, they will be visiting:
- Blue Bank Pool - 7 October
- Barlow Brook - 14 October
- Holbeck Close - 21 October
- Tapton Lock - 28 October
To find out more about volunteering, visit the DCRT website.
The nights are drawing in…
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. There are plenty of wonderful activities which can be enjoyed in the evenings at this time of year.
Capture a fabulous sunset - look up the time in which the sun sets and position yourself before it goes down. Top tip: until the winter solstice, the time the sun sets is getting earlier.
Once the sun has gone down, and if then sky is clear, you can see the stars! Find somewhere quiet with little or no light pollution... and just look up.
Do you know your constellations? The National Trust website has some top tips for stargazing, and the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre website can tell you which constellations to look out for this month.
See the bigger picture at Chesterfield Observatory
Did you know there is an observatory in Chesterfield? They take bookings for group visits on most nights of the year, providing both an educational and entertaining experience at the one of the best stargazing venues in the borough.
Group visits can typically include:
- talks about space in their lecture room
- Q and A session about astronomy
- time in the dome learning about and using the main telescope, plus time outside using their smaller telescopes
- star-pointing and star-hopping, to teach how to find your way around the night sky
- they can also cover subjects required for the 'stargazer badge' for Brownies or Cubs
Book your group visit on their website, or perhaps you could become a volunteer with them!
Don't miss the upcoming Blood Moon...
The full moon this month occurs on 20 October, and is called the Blood Moon or Hunter’s Moon, its name deriving from its orange appearance.
Unfortunately for stargazers in the UK, however, this particular event won't be visible in the night sky across Europe.
Go bat spotting!
Bats are still active at this time of year, but are getting ready for their hibernation through the winter. Bats usually begin hibernating from November.
At this time of year, bats will be looking out for a cosy place to hibernate - but they don't just live in caves like we traditionally believe.
Many roost in trees and some find a home in man-made structures - maybe even in your roof!
You can find out more about where and how bats hibernate on the Woodland Trust website.
More activities for the family to enjoy