Blawhorn Moss NNR
We have just had 2 days out on Blawhorn Moss with the P6 class from Blackridge Primary. It was a sub-zero Siberia with everything covered in a thin layer of snow and hoar frost and the pools frozen solid.
So what on earth were we doing out there in the middle of winter? Well, sometimes it is just the way things work out. School staff changes, work programmes and class topics all contributed to us going out onto Blawhorn at the end of January in a cold snap. But we had great fun.
Even with the bog frozen we covered a whole range of topics with the children contributing all the way. We measured the peat depth and worked out how old the bog was (it grows 1mm / year and was 3.5m deep = 3500 yrs old), we looked at the landscape and the changes of plants according to the soils types – mineral=green, peat=purple. We looked at landscape history – old steadings, ridge and furrow field systems, old hedges, ancient roads and how stage coaches used to signal to Blackridge village to put the kettle on. We wobbled on the bog, talked about where and how you get bog nappies, lamps, rope and string, thatch and fuel (all from the bog). Despite the cold we all squidged a peat sample (looks like poo but doesn’t smell like it luckily)! And learned where cranberries grew, why bogs are vitally important and where best to have your front door on an old house (you had to be there, really). Of course for survival reasons we also had to do a lot of running around games as well just for the circulation. All in all it seemed to be far too much fun to count as work but it is a tough job that someone has to do.
It was outdoor learning at its best.