Summer Nature Club – Week 2

Blawhorn Moss, NNR

Week 2 of the Summer Nature Club had us going back in time to find out what Blawhorn Moss would have been 3000 years ago! Last week we had an insight into just how deep the peat we stood on was, so now we wanted to learn what the land would have been like thousands of years ago. This was also something new for Stephen and me.

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Throw back to last week

Day 3 was at Blawhorn Moss, NNR

Steve took the group back 3000 years (not literally!): this involved a lot of team work, turning the Russian peat core and pulling it out required many hands on deck. Each core was then laid out on drain pipes, and we calculated and marked down how many thousands of years we had gone back. Our core from 3000 years ago provided many chunky bits of timber, which indicate the land would have been boggy woodland.

Our core from 1500 – 2000 years ago contained more broken down plant material than the thick timber chunks we had found a thousand years earlier. We speculated that core had changed in this era due to timber being cut down and harvested, possibly by the indigenous population or even the Romans. Our task was to keep the peat core very simple, this way it was easily interpreted and we could visually link the years going back in time. The colour in the peat cores also varied over the thousands of years and the deeper we went the darker it became along with it being wetter.

Day 4 we spent at Beechbrae

The young people in the club decide what they want to do each day. Beechbrae had turned a boggy bit of ground into a thriving haven for biodiversity which has created a fantastic wild pond. The group wished to spend an hour or so pond dipping! They were coming across pond snails, leechs, Water beetle larvae, Backswimmers, Pond skaters, Lesser water boatmen and Newts. Their pond is thriving with life!

After lunch they decided to make a den within the community woodland so a detailed tool talk was needed and Sammy identified the trees the group could use to build with. For some young people this was a new adventure, it was even a new task for me as I’d never built a den before either! Luckily we had 2 young people who attend the local scouts and were pros.

Thanks to funding from the Climate Challenge Fund, Beechbrae have been working hard to create space to grow food for their local village and has lots of space outside for the hardier fruit and vegetables to grow. At the end of the day it is lovely to see the young people line up with their bags ready to take away healthy natural foods, locally sourced, back to their families.

This week we will host our last 2 days for the summer nature club, where we will be focusing on cooking, and using natural ingredients along with some outdoor craft making.

Stay tuned for week 3!

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