John Muir River Project week
This week Robins class have enjoyed discovering wild places as part of the John Muir Trust award. What a fantastic week we have had.
On Monday, the children visited the source of the Gaunless River and discovered that at the beginning of the river, the ground was boggy and wet, but they couldn’t see a stream. A little way down the valley, they saw how the Gaunless formed streams and at Cockfield Fell, they measured the depth and speed of the river. The children learnt that the river becomes wider, faster and deeper as it flows further along its journey. It was an excellent day which ended with paddling in the stream and having lots of fun at Auckland Castle.
On Tuesday, Robins learnt about the inspirational John Muir and his love of the outdoors. They shared their learning with Owls and Blackbirds who asked some super questions about rivers and what they are like.
Wednesday’s weather continued to be glorious and the class walked across Cockfield Fell to look at the remains of the numerous old Bell Pits. The group then walked along the old Bishop Auckland to Barnard Castle and Haggerleases railway lines while examining old photographs which showed how different the scenery used to be. In the afternoon the children visited Copley Lead Smelting Chimney and measured the circumference by forming a large circle of hands around the building. Later, we visited West Auckland to see the site of the first iron railway bridge-in the world! The abutments were still there, but not the bridge, which is housed in York Railway Museum.
On Thursday, the class walked to the nearby section of the River Gaunless and looked for river mini-beasts, which are called invertebrates. They found many Mayfly species which suggests that our river is clean, but they also found an American Crayfish, which is an invasive species, because it eats almost everything else it comes across! They are also rare in this river and therefore had to be reported to the Environment agency.
The children spent an amazing final day with Daisy Arts, where they explored stories and artwork linked to river activities.