Blawhorn Moss, National Nature Reserve
Last week P6 from Blackridge primary school took their classroom outside. Recently their main focus has been learning about rainforests and how species can adapt to that preferred habitat. Because we live in Scotland that sort of habitat does not exist but luckily enough for this school they are only 5 minutes away from a peat bog which is a perfect habitat for the children to understand its past use, the species that adapt to living in such conditions and learn more about the plant species that make this habitat extra special.
We asked the children to write about their experience and this is what they had to say:
‘We arrived at Blawhorn Moss on Tuesday 24th October. Sammy, David and Amee took us up there. When we arrived Sammy went through the rules and then we walked through the puddles to the bog! A Labrador even tried to eat us! We got clipboards and some sheets and we had to identify as many plants as we could. We did a bounce test on the solid ground and then on the peat bog to compare. When we were doing it on the peat bog it was vibrating like jelly because it soaks up so much water.
When we were on the bog we were talking about what different plants were used for. The plants were heather, sphagnum moss, star moss, sundew and cranberry. We learned that the plants can only grow on the moss because they have adapted to the environment to get all the nutrients they need. The sphagnum moss helps the other plants because it soaks up all the water and gives them the amount of water they need and soaks up the rest. We had to try to identify the plants we had seen to see if we remembered them. Soon after when we went on the bog David got a handful of sphagnum moss and showed us how much water was in it. We measured how far down the peat goes and it was 3 metres. That means the bog had been there for 3000 years! We saw that there used to be a farm and we saw a ruined house. David told us that there was a part of the ground where it went up and down and that was where the farm was. The furrows were where the farmer watered and the ridges were where they planted the crops.
We did a game at the end called Bats and Moths, we were blindfolded and tried to catch the moth using echolocation. We loved our day at Blawhorn Moss. Thanks David, Amee and Sammy!
Since we came back we have been learning about how plants stay alive in the rainforest and how they have adapted to their habitat. We have been linking our learning to plants on Blawhorn Moss!
You might be wondering about the part where “A Labrador even tried to eat us! “. This was due to a dog walker not keeping their dog on a lead when they were approaching a group of school children. Although nobody got eaten it is very important that when walking your best friend you are required to be responsible and keep it on a lead. Not everyone who visits a national nature reserve are comfortable around dogs or in fact a dog walker. They are there to feel safe and enjoy the special site’.