There's more to wildlife than fur and feathers. Here's your chance to 'branch' out.
Trees’ leaves and seeds can help you to identify the different types of trees around you. There are also various textures to feel (including the bark) and you can compare the shapes and vein patterns of leaves from different species of tree.
Also, you can do all sorts of cool things with seeds! Play conkers with horse chestnuts, turn sycamore seeds into helicopters when you throw them into the air and make pinecones into homemade bird feeders (or even a model hedgehog with the help of some stick-on googly eyes!).
Are you doing this activity as part of your ild Challenge? Find out how you are progressing – are you getting closer to gold?
Did you know: we have over 50 species of native tree in the UK?
What you will need
- A bag to collect the interesting seeds and leaves you find
- Autumn-winter activity sheet (download in: English, Cymraeg, Bilingual)
- Spring-summer activity sheet (download in: English, Cymraeg, Bilingual)
- Optional - an ID sheet or tree guide (if you want to go into more detail)
- Camera or smartphone
Welsh/English bilingual resources are also now available for our family Wild Challenge activities/ Adnoddau dwyieithog rŵan ar gael ar gyfer gweithgareddau Sialens Wyllt
- Find some trees! Search for ones that produce really good seeds, or have interestingly shaped leaves, like horse chestnuts, oak and sycamore. In autumn and winter, they'll be on the ground, but you'll need to look higher up during spring and summer. But please don't pick the leaves or seeds - try taking photos to create a photo diary instead.
- If there are lots of dry fallen leaves, notice the texture and whether they crunch when you crumple or step on them. Then you could pile them up, take a run-up and kick your way through them. Watch them fly into the air and descend in a fluttering cloud.
- Now to the serious business of gathering seeds and leaves. Can you match the leaf or seed to the tree? Use our guide to help.
- Use an ID sheet if you want to go into a little bit more detail.
- Have a feel of the different textures of the tree – notice the patterns of the bark and compare the shapes and vein patterns of leaves.
- Have you ever tried bark rubbing? Use a light-coloured sheet of paper, hold it against the tree trunk and rub a crayon over it. The pattern of the bark will come through as you rub. You can try this with leaves too. You’ll need to put your leaf down on a flat surface before you start rubbing.
- You can also make impressions of bark or leaves using clay or a smooth sheet of foil.
- Don't forget to tell us when you have completed the activity! When you mark the activity as complete, you will be asked to upload a photo, drawing, painting or a description of your experience to help earn your award.
Completing the activity
Use the 'Mark as complete' button at the top of this page to tell us you've completed your activity. You'll need to show us what you did by uploading a photo of what you saw or your family on the look out! Alternatively, draw or paint what you saw or upload a description of your experience.