Schools and 6th form students from around Exmoor took part in science based investigations recently as part of National Science Week (http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/web/nsew/)
Dave Gurnett, Exmoor National Park education manager joined Minehead Middle Year 5 children for an assembly on energy and Patrick Watts-Mabbott demonstrated petrol, wind and solar power. Later the children walked from school up onto Grabbist to decide if they liked the idea of ‘wind turbines’ on the ridge.
At the Pinkery Outdoor Education Centre, West Buckland Prep School joined up with Dr David Smith from the Exmoor Mires Project and David Rolls from Heart of Exmoor to undertake a range of experiments using ‘MICCI’ resources (Moorland Indicators of Climate Change Initiative). (http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/learning-about/learning-projects/climatechangeproject/micci_downloads)
One of the students Hector Bunclark (aged 10) said:
“It was brilliant, I loved the measuring and the pH testing – we even found a frog!”
Dr Smith remarked: “The monitoring work carried out so enthusiastically by the school groups on Exmoor is happening in the same way on moorlands all over England, which is what makes it such a good initiative to be involved in. The results will help us understand changes which are happening on our moorlands in response to climate change – and the children had a fantastic day they will never forget.”
David Rolls said: “This was hardcore science – and lots of fun! As part of the day we compared Exmoor peat depths with other places recorded by schools around the country. The pupils did very well and they are a real credit to their school.”
Mire-themed activity days for the general public coming soon include: ‘Bogtastic’ a free fun and messy day of bog exploration on Saturday 9th June, and a ‘Beginners Guide to Moorland Plant Identification’ on Saturday 30th June, and ‘The Past in Peat’ on Wednesday 25th July. More details can be found at: heartofexmoor.org.uk/whats-on
Schools involved in Science Week with Exmoor National Park were Pathfields (Barnstaple), Minehead Middle and West Buckland.
Notes to Editors
Media contact: Clare O’Connor, Exmoor National Park Authority. Direct Line: 01398 322244.
Photo available on request: Dr David Smith (Exmoor Mires) and children study bog vegetation.
The Exmoor Mires Project is working with landowners to restore dried-out bog or mire sites on over 2,000 hectares of Exmoor’s moorland by 2015. Exmoor Mires is a partnership between South West Water, Exmoor National Park Authority, the Environment Agency, Natural England and English Heritage. www.exmoormires.org.uk
Heart of Exmoor
The Heart of Exmoor scheme helps people to enjoy and appreciate Exmoor’s moorland and supports those who take care of it. The fifteen projects invest half a million pounds to benefit the landscape and community. To find out more, please visit www.heartofexmoor.org.uk or call 01398 322164.