Willow the Fox is 5 this Week!!
Our lovely foxy friend became our mascot five years ago when Amanda and Mandy had the nugget of an idea to undergoing training with Surrey Wildlife Trust to become Forest School Leaders and run their own school. The site they were going to work from had a big Willow tree with a fox living under it, hence Willow our friendly Foxy mascot was born.
The children who attend our sites at Sutton Green, Ottershaw, Chertsey and Merrist Wood all know and love Willow. He is there waiting for them when they arrive, is always up for cuddles and so very patiently wears leafy woodland crowns and crafts, plays hide and seek with them, has wheelbarrow rides, tests out dens and helps to cook up concoctions in the mud kitchen.
Did you know that foxes are mainly solitary animals?
They hunt and sleep alone, only living in small family groups called a skulk or a leash whilst raising their young. They live underground in an Earth, have amazing senses with incredibly sharp eyesight and the ability to hear a tiny rustle in the grass from 30 metres away! With cat-like claws, a fox can even climb trees. Perhaps that explains why our Willow can often be found watching the children from above, languishing on the branch of a tree.
When our children hear their Forest School Leader call “123 Where are you?” They call back “123 We’re over here” and know to come running to find Willow. They will gather round and be counted in and then listen to why they were called.
This is our way of ensuring we have all the children together to do a head count, should we have an emergency situation to deal with.
However, usually it is to instruct them to all wash their hands ready for marshmallows at the fire circle or to take part in a game.
At the end of our Fire Circle, we always have a time of reflection. Everyone has a turn of passing round and cuddling Willow and telling their friends what their favourite part of their morning or day at Forest School was.
This week all our children will be enjoying a slice of birthday cake to celebrate Willow’s Fifth Birthday!!
Happy Birthday Willow