The picnic part was interspersed with poking sticks into mole hills, bird-spotting and gazing at criss-crossing vapour trails.
Further into the woods, there are some made and half-made dens and bivouacs which everyone re-designs and contributes to as they pass. The girls love doing their bit, adding their own touches to the interiors and exteriors and acting out stories.
As the sun came out we decided to head off to look for fairies and elves deeper into the woods
All those crunchy brown leaves were crying out to be thrown, so the girls duly obliged!
Just a quick note, if you are wondering what all the signs are on the trees above, this native woodland is currently under threat from Forest Holidays who want to flatten vast swathes of it to build 75 holiday lodges, associated roads in, support facilities etc. If you would like to join us in fighting their destruction of this beautiful and highly popular site, please join the Save Houghton Forest campaign as it unfolds. Thanks (cue cheesy grin pic).