On Tuesday 28th February 2017 Year 3 to 6 travelled to Hind Holmes Wood in Honing Common to spend time with our Forest School specialist, Mrs Castle. Year 5 and 6 started the morning by helping Mrs Castle to erect a base camp with tarpaulin between the trees. Years 3 and 4 took Ms Norton and Mrs Pimlott to explore the surrounding woodland. We had a great time exploring, the boys really enjoyed attacking rotten tree trunks, and we had to be quick to spot the range of minibeasts escaping back under the bark. Isaac Buchan explained,
“We went to investigate the woods and we found fungus, we kicked bark and found two beetles and thousands of bugs. We described the river and said it was man-made.” Isaac Buchan
The fungus growing on the branches that had fallen to the floor also caught our eye, there was a great variety of colours and shapes.
We returned to our base camp and played a scavenger hunt challenge. The children constructed a ‘wheel’ of tree branches laying flat on the floor. Ella and Mina Thomson explained how the scavenger hunt worked:
“Mrs Castle asked us ‘Can you go and find a stick that is as big as you and a stick half the size of you.’ So we all went and got the sticks and we made a wheel. After we made our wheel we had to walk 50 steps away from our wheel and every 10 steps we had to get something small that we liked. After the fifty steps we went back to the wheel and put the objects in our part of the wheel, we had to talk about what we found.” Ella and Mina Thomson
The children collected a great range of items, from surprising fungal brackets, yellow and black Jelly Fungi and an eggshell, rotting logs and delicate twigs and leaves. We took some back to school to identify.
After our scavenger hunt we enjoyed a snack and a few moments to explore the woodland.
We then began our tree planting. The children were tasked with mastering the use of a tree identification key in order to identify the tree saplings, donated by the Woodland Trust, by the shape and arrangement of their buds and their thorns. We identified Oak, Birch, Hawthorn and Blackthorn saplings. We concentrated on planting only the Oak saplings and a few Birch, as the West side of Hind Holmes Wood is predominantly an Oak woodland with some species of Birch, Lime and Alder. We proceeded by digging small holes and positioning the new trees in the gaps in the mature woodland. Charlie Rowe explains
“First we dug a hole, then we put the oak tree in the hole, then we put in the cane, then put the plastic cover over the plant and cane.” Charlie Rowe
A very busy morning left us ready for a quiet afternoon and an evening free of homework. Well done everybody!