Girlguiding Sussex West enjoy an afternoon with owls

Date published: 21 February 2024

Around 30 members of Girlguiding Sussex West enjoyed a morning at Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex and South-East Hampshire.

As part of their involvement in The Little Hoot – the learner programme of public art trail The Big Hoot – the girls had a tour of the Woodland Walk and met a barn owl and little owl with local expert Andy Kendall.

All seven divisions within Girlguiding Sussex West were represented by members attending from across Adur Valley, Arun Valley, Chichester, Bognor Regis, Petworth, Worthing Highdown and Worthing Cissbury.

Kirstin Bosley, lead volunteer for the project, said: “It’s been lovely seeing girls across all sections – from Rainbows through to Rangers and our young leaders. They’ve really enjoyed seeing and handling the owls. It’s been about raising awareness of the hospice, coming here and seeing what they’re actually raising money for. There are lots of happy faces and the owl biscuits went down very well!”

Harper, a Brownie from Chichester, said: “I held both the owls and they felt very soft.”  Her friend Isabel said: “We asked how big the owls were and I guessed the barn owl was 30cm high.”

Olivia and Tilly are Guides from Lancing. Olivia said: “Today has been very interesting. I liked the Woodland Walk, it’s so pretty. And I liked holding the owls, especially Wizard the barn owl. I learned that owls have oil on their back feathers to help water run off their backs.”

It is hoped that all 180 units of Girlguiding Sussex West will contribute to the design of their owl, which will be displayed as part of The Big Hoot public art trail in Chichester and Arundel over the summer. The trail will raise money and awareness for Chestnut Tree House.

How your school or youth group can get involved

There’s still time for schools and groups to sign up to The Big Hoot’s Little Hoot Learner Programme. We’re on the lookout for Primary schools, pre-schools and secondary schools. As well as youth and sports groups. Find out about the Learner Programme for schools and youth groups.

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