Collecting evidence and looking for proof

Blawhorn Moss, NNR

Recently P6 Pupils at Blackridge primary school have been working hard learning and collecting material for a camera trap competition they have entered. The children have been learning how to identify tracks and trails of particular animals. When they come across pellets and droppings the children have managed to identify what animal it may have came from.

Blackridge Primary School- Blawhorn Woodland

Blackridge primary school is exactly a 1 mile walk to the entrance of the National Nature Reserve.  Once they leave the school grounds there is a connecting path which leads from the village into Blawhorn Woodland. The aggregate path runs inbetween a peat bog full of heather and sphagnum moss before the woodland itself.  There are not many schools that have a NNR on their door step within walking distance.

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The children of Blackridge Primary School are rather incredible. Many months ago the reserve manager lead the children around the moss, giving them information on the different plants that habitat the moss and visually showed them how deep the peat was that they stood on.

Whilst on our recent walk the children had still kept this knowledge and asked many questions. A couple of the children managed to speak freely and confidently to be videoed.

They came across many fox dropping but one in particular that got everyone’s attention. A dropping that contained string!

Obviously the children were annoyed; it was quickly related back to the ‘Blue Planet’ television series from last year in regards to all the plastic in the ocean that animals eat. With the littering in their community the animals that are within Blawhorn Woodland and Moss that they are capturing on the trail camera might not be able to digest the litter like the fox dropping and could cause serious damage to wildlife.

P6 have under 2 months to capture as much footage as possible of the wildlife in their area. For the children to get the most out of this they will be co-operating using the trail camera at camp and also working closely with Beechbrae who are a young social enterprise and charity based organization which is even closer than the NNR, all within walking distance from the school ground.

The clips will stay quiet for now on what wildlife has been captured. At the end of the day it is a competition and we wouldn’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet to the rest of the competitors.

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