DO AND MAKE Purple Haze Lavender season is in full swing. The purple fields of flowers smell heavenly and look like a painter’s dream. They’re also home to the most friendly bees – why not head to one for Don’t Step on a Bee Day this Saturday. Many farms sell tickets for a picturesque wander or picnic; find some of the best in Britain here or near London here. Lavender’s sweet smell infuses home-made beauty products with a comforting scent; try making bath bombs, and nit treatments or a relaxing eye mask or include it in your plant-based first aid kit perfect for green witches and wildling kids.
EVENT Chocs Away Today is World Chocolate Day! We’ll take any excuse to eat, bake with the delicious stuff! First, find out why eating chocolate is good for you and why choosing ethical chocolate is important, then it’s on with the fun stuff. Find our recipes for Salted Miso Brownies, Beet Chocolate Muffins, a toddler-friendly Chocolate Avocado Cake Frosting and this indulgent Vegan Chocolate Tort.
DO Squad Goals Use football fever as a spur to get out and play some new games together. Find a tennis court and try Padbol – find a video of the sport here. Kickball also fuses soccer with another sport – baseball. ‘Normal’ football too easy for you? Try a version played wearing a pair of binoculars strapped to a hard hat! Futsal is all about showy, creative moves, while Footbag or Hacky Sack takes solo skills to a new level – find out how to make your own sack here. Kick it!
EVENT AND DO Reading Festival This year’s Summer Reading Challenge’s theme comes courtesy of the WWF – Wild World Heroes – and it’s all about how you can make your town even better for the people and animals who live there! Run by The Reading Agency and Public Libraries he event is a summer holiday essential for our family – sign up at your local library, read six books of your choice and collect your rewards. It’s a great way to motivate your kids (and you!) to borrow books, and means you’re prepared for rainy and lazy days. Don’t forget that libraries aren’t all about traditional storybooks; you’ll find non-fiction guides and reference books, audio books, graphic novels and much more. While we’re on the subject of libraries, here’s our list of the UK’s most beautiful public and university halls of books – why not take time out to visit one this summer?
EVENT AND DO Petal Power Perhaps thanks to no-mow May, this year, we’ve noticed more wild flowers than ever. Learning to identify them can be tricky, but, hurray, The Great British Wildflower Hunt is here to help. Set up by Plantlife, the event aims to increase knowledge and connection to some of the most beautiful of our native plants. Users can search using a spotter sheet, then submit their results online, so other participants can see what wildflowers are growing in their local area. It’s simple, multi-generational fun – see if you can find out what nicknames older family members have for wild plants.
WHAT WE’RE READING ‘I see people ageing - I don’t always see us’: one family, 30 years, 30 photographs - “It was a simple idea: one family, photographed at the same time every year. Zed Nelson has traced Sue and Frank’s transition from new parents to grandparents. What’s it like to see your life pass in front of you?” Read more here
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING Our World: Anarchy in the Amazon: Under cover of Covid, the Amazon rainforest is under attack. Deforestation is at levels not seen for more than a decade. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, talks of opening the forest up to development while the environmental police are under attack from loggers. Our World obtained a recording of the environment minister talking about using the cover of Covid to ‘change all the rules’ in the Amazon. Justin Rowlatt goes on a mission to find out how a tribe he visited a decade ago is faring in the face of this assault Watch for free on Iplayer