Category Archives: Recent Visits

Posts that showcase what schools and groups have been doing in and around the National Park with New Forest Educators

An unexpected encounter with some fascinating wildlife

Working from the unique location of Calshot Activities Centre, and taking many different groups into the New Forest, it is sometimes easy for us to forget all the stunning wildlife that surrounds us.

Whilst on duty looking after our residential school groups it is not uncommon to be woken by the call of oystercatchers as they strut around wading along Calshot beach, or drive down the spit road and catch a little egret silently stalking and waiting for prey.

However, I was recently reminded that these wildlife spots were not to be taken for granted by staff and students visiting earlier this summer from Portsmouth to complete A-Level Biology fieldwork. Continue reading An unexpected encounter with some fascinating wildlife

A Paultons Park Review – By Wellow School (Year 5)

Following a visit to our recent ‘Science in the Park’ event; Evie, Esme and Grace from the brilliant Wellow School sent us this blog report.

Continue reading A Paultons Park Review – By Wellow School (Year 5)

The Litter Heroes are coming!

This year Keep Britain Tidy are hosting the Great British Spring Clean. In the New Forest National Park, we have teamed up with the Forestry Commission and New Forest District Council and hundreds of volunteers who collected over 250 bags of litter in one weekend (3rd- 5th March).

Meanwhile, local school children are being treated to special visits from newly qualified “Litter Heroes” in their school assemblies. Complete with cape and superpowers, these visitors are proving very popular way to share messages about caring for the Forest. Continue reading The Litter Heroes are coming!

Mermaid’s Purses

I love walking along the beach and especially along the strand line, to see what you can find. From natural treasures to plastic debris that’s been lost at sea, there’s always lots to pick up and discover. If you can safely visit a beach with young people at this time of year, there is always more to see after some strong winds, large waves or high tides.

Recently we have been picking up lots of Mermaid’s purses – these are egg cases from skates and rays that have developed and hatched in the Solent or out at sea. They are anything from 5 to 10cm in length and wash up on the beach, once the young skate or ray has hatched.

A video of a ray hatching can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx5RiXlLGco

There are about 12 species of skates, rays and sharks in the UK that we can identify by looking at their egg cases, and more specifically about 5-6 fairly common species on the South Coast.

To identify the Mermaids Purses, you will need to take your egg cases back to the classroom and put them in a bucket of fresh water for 24hrs, this will allow them to rehydrate, and return to their original size. You can then start to sort them by size and shape, and arrange them into groups.

The smallest egg cases, are about the size of a large bladderwrack (seaweed) popping case! They have thin curly tendrils coming from each corner.

There are a number of medium sized egg cases that are harder to identify, because they look quite similar. However, if you are keen, look closely at cases and use this ID key, provided by the Shark Trust, to identify them.

ID Key http://www.sharktrust.org/shared/great_eggcase_hunt/eggcase_id_key.pdf

Photo Key  eggcase_id_poster

Citizen Science – You can then help the Shark Trust by logging on to their Great Eggcase Hunt website and recording where you found your cases, and the number of each species found.

Project Website http://www.sharktrust.org/en/GEH_the_project

 

“Science in the Park” at Paultons Park

Paultons-Park-school-science-dayOn Friday, 11th March 2016, Paultons Park hosted “Science in the Park”. This special event as part of British Science Week celebrated all things science; with over 420 students and teachers attending a series of free workshops as part of their school visit to the Park.

We were delighted to welcome a group of bloggers from Wellow School in Hampshire. Here is their account…

Continue reading “Science in the Park” at Paultons Park

Sharing Shorelines and Arts Award Discover

St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery are keen to talk to teachers interested in running Arts Award Discover in a Day. Take a look at the work pupils from Pennington Junior School created recently within the Shorelines exhibition. To talk about Arts Award or to bring a group to the museum email learning@stbarbe-museum.org.uk

Sharing Shorelines

Pennington Junior School have taken part in Arts Award Discover at the Shorelines exhibition and created wonderful new pieces of work.

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Paultons Park as a Topic ‘Hook’

Children from Redbridge School were keen to show us their ride ideas!
Children from Redbridge School were keen to show us their ride ideas!

Following on from a visit in September, we were pleased to hear that the children of Redbridge Primary School had enjoyed their visit so much that they had gone away to design and build their own rides for our new area ‘Lost Kingdom’.

Continue reading Paultons Park as a Topic ‘Hook’