Last year was such a lovely experience - we were absolutely chuffed to be going back Into the Trees this year. The event is held in September at Pippingford Park in Nutley, East Sussex - the same venue where the So Sussex team host the Elderflower Fields festival.
The Ashdown Forest is a beautiful woodland to explore - made even more exciting with lots of fun activities on offer for all ages. A family ticket is just £22 for a full day of fun.
Having visited last year we were familiar with the set up and after parking up in the field we headed towards the marquee to get a map and wrist bands for the kids. This year you could buy tokens for certain activities - the tokens were £2 each and could be used for mountain boarding, the woodland tribe, zip wire, branching out climbing and the axe throwing all the other other activities were free of charge.
The kids always enjoy Sussex Disc Golf so they headed straight there for a round - this is really great fun if you haven't played before you get given a frisbee and you have to get it into nets which are arranged around the field.
We then headed towards the rope swings and Woodland Tribe where lots of kids were busy building a play area. Look what we discovered here....
Weird right? Now we love mushroom hunting but this has to be the strangest we've ever come across - this fungi is called Devil's Fingers or the Octopus Stinkhorn fungus. Apparently native to Australia and New Zealand so a rare find in the UK!! It smells of rotting meat.
Next was a walk to the pond to have a go at pond dipping with the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
These cute little critters are baby newts.
Next on our radar was the art trail in the woods - this was a big hit last year and there was plenty of free activities to choose from including weaving, dream catcher making, clay monsters and mud monsters. The huge dream catchers hanging in the trees look so effective.
Clearly after all that concentrating the children were hungry. Into the Trees allows you to take your own food but the food stalls are too tempting not to have a a treat. We went for a fresh wood fired pizza from The Pizza Wagon. These are freshly prepared and cook in just 90 seconds.
We also went for a venison burger from Wild Sussex and a a ham and cheese toasty from The Grey Earl. Food starts at around £2.50 upwards.
The kids also enjoyed an ice cream from Vintage Scoops.
After refuelling we went back to look at some of the stalls. There were things to do and to watch including pole lathes, craft activities in a bell tent with Freckles and Fire, things to buy from Axe and Paddle, blacksmithing and we tasted some bits over at Sacred Seeds.
Heading back into the woods we took a wander to the nibbled nuts trail and walked towards a waterfall and back through the woods finding a really beautiful bird hide.
We didn't have a go at axe throwing this year as it's something we have done before but Timberhitch axe throwing and archery were very popular. There was also slacklining (which we did last year) as well as climbing with Branching Out.
The mud kitchen proved really popular with the little ones.
We were lucky that we'd managed to dodge any rain but as the afternoon came so did a downpour. I ducked into the marquee where there was storytelling and face painting. Then as we were leaving we had a look at some of the bones on the Schools Without Walls stand.
Into the Trees is a lovely, small woodland festival - great for connecting families to nature and something we'd be happy to return to every year.