Blawhorn Moss NNR
With most pupils in Scotland returning to school in the past week or so there is a small group of children from Blackridge and Armadale in West Lothian who spent a chunk of the school holiday rampaging around Blawhorn Moss and the Beechbrae woodland on the edge of Blackridge village. The children formed a nature club for the holidays and spent 4 hours of 6 days getting to know both sites and so decided to call themselves, after much deliberation, the Bogridge Guides.
The idea behind the club was for the children to learn all about the special places surrounding the communities through a whole range of activities that they themselves chose to do. And these were opportunities to do things that these children don’t normally get to do. They spent half the time at Blawhorn Moss (more info here) finding out about this wildlife and history of this special bog through a mixture of activities and games. The rest of the time was spent at Beechbrae wood (more info here) . Through these days, that were mostly blessed with sun, they built fires and cooked on them, played hide and seek, studied pond inhabitants, measured peat depths, trapped and id’d moths, harvested fruit and vegetables, climbed trees and platted moss stems to make bracelets.
As we got to know them the skills and potential and character of the group became obvious. Within the gang were potential photographers, marine biologists, zoologists, managers, athletes and gymnasts.
And the result? Tired, slightly grubby but knowledgeable children that were comfortable in the outdoors.
And I had some of the best fun I have ever had in the job (don’t tell my line manager). Can’t wait for next summer.
Most of the photos were taken by the children themselves.