Forest Schools are inspiring places, designed to give children the opportunity to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in natural woodland. Nathan James Dodd suggests ten items that will useful in such an environment.
When the forecast is for sizzling weather, David Coton instantly looks forward to preparing delicious barbecued food for his family and friends. Barbecues have become incredibly popular over recent years and here is David's guide on what to look out for when choosing one of these summer essentials.
The range of barbecues to choose from can be daunting, and your buying criteria can rest on a variety of factors i.e. how much use it will receive, what fuel you prefer and your budget, in addition to colour, size, running costs etc. This is our guide to making your decision easier:
Charcoal Barbecues use briquettes or heat beads that provide a more constant heat, or lumpwood that can attain high temperatures and doesn't contain any charcoal additives.
Gas Barbecues run on bottled propane gas
Built-in Barbecues offer value for money and adaptability as they can be placed on a variety of surfaces for example bricks, slabs or concrete. Normally constructed from stainless steel, the latest technology can offer results comparable to full size barbecues.
Portable Barbecues are lightweight enough to take anywhere, quick to set up and are therefore ideal for days out in the countryside or on the beach.
Buschbeck Masonry Barbecues can be made from a variety of stone and metal including granite and copper and can run on a variety of fuel. They are semi-permanent and can act as garden focal points as well as patio heaters.
Although cast iron will maintain heat better, steel grills are easier to clean; porcelain grills won't deteriorate, and are easy to clean, but can chip
This is an indication as to how large the barbecue needs to be for different numbers of people:
(Warming racks will enable these numbers to be increased)
You will need a few accessories to ensure food can be served quickly and with minimum fuss.
Other optional extras allow you to increase the range of food that can be cooked.
In normal circumstances with warmer weather and Easter coming along soon, you should be stocking up on bedding plants to fill planters, borders and hanging baskets. However, even though the garden centre is currently closed, we are still trading online and, while you may be confined to home, there are plenty of garden jobs for you to tackle during April. David Coton has these suggestions.
Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
Robert Hall explains how getting out into the garden can help us to exercise, get out into the open air, enjoy time with nature and to help keep our minds occupied during these overwhelming Covid-19 times.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020.