In this video, composed of still images and video footage, two-year-old Rex leads his mother on a playful exploration through a leafy area of Alexandra Park, located in the Stockport borough of Greater Manchester in England. The park has a wide range of amenities including a reservoir, wooded area, skate park, and play park, and offers a safe and calm but exciting space for visitors. Rex enjoys being among the trees. He imagines owls in the treetops and stops to admire the tree's bark, describing it as bumpy. Rex enjoys splashing in puddles, playing peekaboo behind a tree, and running to find shelter from the rain under a small tree. In a conversation, Rex explains that he loves the park because he loves trees, and two big trees, in particular. His adventure moves to the wooded area, where he imagines characters from one of his favorite storybooks, The Gruffalo (by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler, 1999). Rex is responsive throughout his exciting adventure, engaging with the trees and wildlife that live in the park.

Author Biography

Melanie Riley

Melanie Riley is a visiting research fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University with a background as a primary school teacher. Her interests include LGBTQ+ young people, LGBTQ+ parenting, relationships and sex education, and LGBTQ+ inclusion in primary schools. More recently, she has been awarded a 1+3 White Rose PhD scholarship through which she plans to work with LGBTQ+ primary school teachers to develop solutions to teaching gender identity.


Rex thrives outdoors. He is happiest and calmest when in nature and looking for wildlife, especially birds. Rex’s favorite thing to do is splash in big giant puddles and build sandcastles at the beach at his grandad’s house.

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