The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the world’s leading gardening charity, opened RHS Bridgewater in Worsley in May 2021. The eco-friendly wooden centre boasts a Californian-style architecture in Salford and contains a stunning 156-acre garden. This February half-term it offered an underground-inspired programme of family-friendly events.

A child holding a worm. Credit: RHS, Helen YatesFamily activity day at Redhill Allotments. RHS Community Outreach project with Surrey Care Trust.The Under Your Feet storytelling session hosted by Ursula Holden Gill, a Hebden-based storyteller, writer, and educator, was an interactive event for toddlers inspired by the natural world and animals. Holden Gill is an imaginative and animated storyteller and encourages participation, inviting children to sing along, clap and guess the names of animals. Her tales, themed around mystery, history and fact, encourage little ones to consider conservation and to take part in songs about worms, foxes and moles.

She captivated her young audience by telling a story about boggarts, mythical small gnome-like creatures who live in the wild on the moors and shapeshift. Her tale about how humans should live in harmony with these creatures and preserve the natural world echoed the aims of RHS Bridgewater, which is the largest hands-on horticultural project in Europe.

If you’re looking to encourage your toddler into appreciating nature, check out RHS Bridgewater and Holden Gill.

By Rachael Richards

Main image credit: RHS, Georgi Mabee