3 or 4 beanbags or balls
Indoors/ outdoors. Good places—clearings in Skinny
Woods, Hawkhill Wood, Innocent
Walkway, Craigmillar Castle
This game shows the importance of networks of trees and hedgerows, as shelter for
Arrange everyone in a circle and explain that these people are trees,
around a field, which is the space in the middle. All ‘trees’ must stand upright with
their roots firmly in the ground. One person should be chosen to be the ‘sparrowhawk’, which is very
hungry. What do sparrowhawk’s eat? They eat small birds (e.g.
sparrows!). The beanbags / balls represent these small birds, which the
sparrowhawk has to catch. Explain that the beanbags are thrown across
the circle from person to person, just as small birds fly from tree to
tree. Start off by throwing one beanbag across the circle, then increase
the number of beanbags. When the sparrowhawk catches a beanbag, choose
somebody else to be the sparrowhawk.
The next stage of the game demonstrates how hedges
are good hiding places for small birds, as the birds do not have to fly
so far between trees, therefore being less exposed to attack: instead of passing the beanbags
across the circle, they must now be passed round the circle from
neighbour to neighbour. It should now be more difficult for the
sparrowhawk to find and catch the small birds, than when they flew
across the open field.