Ecosystems and Biodiversity
We gathered In the arboretum It started off a bit nippy and drizzly, however we all helped keep the fire burning by collecting dry sticks.
We talked about the area of the arboretum with its mature trees, parkland and spring stream, it’s geography of it in the bed of the valley running East West and it’s sheltered environment, the plants and animals that all make up this ecosystem.
We explored the variety of creatures from different habitats like
Arthropodes with their segmented bodies- Centipedes, wood lice and nematodes-slugs, snails and tiny eggs from under standing logs.
We saw mole hills and a mole! Such a cute animal with silky fur. They have a plentiful supply of slugs to eat here, Yucky!
Some of us found leeches, water snails and shrimp in the stream.
The stream was crystal clear and many of the creatures were found along the bank in or near the mud.
Some of us got wet socks and wellies from our enthusiasm and as we didn’t realise how deep the water was. We took photos and recorded the creatures we found.
Then came the exertion of the team tyre race around the arboretum track. Two teams in opposite directions. Uphill, along the flat, downhill and long the gone straight! We all made our best effort and did really well.
This was followed by zip wire across the water and trampolining!
Then we worked together as a team to gently herd the Hebridean sheep through two sets of gates into the top field.
We couldn’t run, some of us walked behind them, others just positioned ourselves to block them from entering the other fields and to help the sheep to find their way to the right field. Wow! the sheep leapt like lambs over an invisible gate at the entrance of the field.
After a few games of 10 on 10 off the silage bales, we went on the habitat scavenger hunt in the stream bed, and together we managed to crack the codes from the markers collected. The code read: HABITAT DIVERSITY SURVIVAL and we claimed our Easter egg prizes.
We spoke about the importance of biodiversity and habitats and how we can help nature by monitoring what is present and getting to know numbers of plants, insects and animals and creating habitats, by planting hedgerows and trees, seeding wildflowers, building insect homes.
We returned to the arboretum for a game of Hide and seek and wood painting and gathered around the campfire to enjoy hotdogs, hamburgers, juice, and s’mores and to celebrate Josh’s birthday with cake!
It was the best time!