Who are the VYFWBP?

We are a friendly community group, run by parents, who meet every Thursday morning in West Bank Park, York. Whatever the weather, school hols included, we spend a couple of hours in the woods and meadows of the Park, doing nature games and crafts, building or making things with materials we find, telling stories and singing songs.

We are open to all - with a contribution of £1 a family (to cover basic equipment) - so if you want to join us, see you on Thursday at 10am at the statue of Queen Victoria, at the top of the Rose Walk. (Bring something simple to share at snack time.)

For more information contact Elly at: westbankparkkids@gmail.com

Sunday, 7 June 2009


This year, like last, we set to making elderflower lemonade at the bench in front of the rockery, opposite which are some conveniently situated elder bushes. The smell is so tempting and the children's hunter-gatherer instincts come to the fore. You literally can't stop them looking for more to 'put in the basin'.

It is a good task for little children because there are several interesting stages which need lots of concentration and cooperation, and awaken all their senses:
- picking the flowerheads (about 30)
- removing the flowers from their stems
- squeeeeeeeeezing the lemons (about 4)
- adding some sugar (about 6-10 teaspoons)
- stirring in the hot water (about 2 litres)
- tapping on the pot lid to 'make the taste come out of the flowers' (not strictly necessary that one)
- having a story while waiting for it to cool down (thanks Laura for Hamda's surprise which everybody loved)
- lading the juice through a funnel into a jug
- drinking it!

This is a very approximate recipe which takes about an hour from picking to drinking. You can also make cordial (which will last a year or more) and champagne (2 weeks to turn alcoholic and drink it quick before it explodes) - look online for recipes.

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Our beloved Queen Victoria

Our beloved Queen Victoria
We sometimes bow to her before we set off into the woods!