Welcome to my Blog

Friends and Families of Special Children

Yesterday I took part in a project at Buckland Abbey where I was helping Jennie Hale atWorkshop under the Sky. It was a day with a difference!  And probably the best I have had in all the time I have been working with Workshop under the sky.


I turned up before anyone else; the rain had eased and the yurt stood bright in the sunlight against the lush backdrop of the Abbey gardens. On a nearby pond a couple of moorhens announced their presence with erratic flashes of deep scarlet beaks, while their chicks scudded playfully along the edge, all but camouflaged by the dark bank and the peaty water.


Thus the scene was set for a joyous occasion!  Jennie and Mary (another Mary – Mary Harold) arrived in a Landrover which was full of boxes of art materials, pond dipping nets, buckets, water trays and moth traps.  We unloaded all this into the yurt and stocked the tables with colourful water soluble felt tips, smudgy crayons, soft pencils, brushes, paint pots, water pots and piles of cartridge paper.


We had just enough time to explore the rest of the gardens including the magical kitchen garden where there was an abundance of colour, texture and form.  And another shallow pool further down the lane – ideal for pond dipping.


And then the main feature – the amazing falconer, Tracy, and her majestic birds!  I wish I could remember their names!  By the time she had positioned herself in the yurt with the first bird on her gloved arm, the families from the group, Friends and Families of Special Children, were beginning to show up.


These pictures tell some of the tale. It’s hard to convey the atmosphere – the buzz and the fun, and the sense of pure enjoyment and achievement felt by all the people involved. The rain held off all day but, as if it could be restrained no longer, we were graced with a sudden drenching just as the last family was leaving.


Unfortunately the camera in my Blackberry is inferior to say the least, but Gill (one of the mums) kindly lent me her Canon and so I will update with more pictures if or when she manages to get them to me!


I know we would all agree that Sally and the team at Buckland Abbey who helped get this project off the ground deserve our heartfelt thanks.  They were brilliant!  And it goes without saying that it was the families that “made our day”, together with the organisers of ‘Friends and Families..’, all the volunteers and last but most definitely not least – Tracy and her gentle birds!


Don’t forget to find out more about the various organisations involved by clicking on them in the text above.  If you are interested in what Silverwings Falconry has to offer, phone Tracy on 07988094163.


Watch out for updates showing more photos of the fantastic work that was produced, and hopefully some close ups of the birds.