Year 6 Derwent Hill Week (posted on 16.09.2016)

From Monday 5th – Friday 9th September our Year 6 children visited Derwent Hill and had a fabulous time.  Whilst there, the children worked towards achieving the John Muir Award which is an environmental award focused on wild places, helping to people to connect with nature and care for the environment.  Throughout the week we discovered and explored new places, learned about the importance of conservation, and each group shared their knowledge and experiences with each other as part of a fun presentation evening on our final night.  We will also be sharing what we’ve learned with the Year 6 parents during the upcoming assembly.

Part of the John Muir Award involves a visit to Blackwood Farm which lies between Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lakes.  For the past 3 years children from East Herrington Primary Academy have been helping Farmer Paul to conserve the land on this section of his farm.  We have helped Paul to strengthen his river banks, chopped and burnt gorse bushes that were preventing his animals from reaching food, and we have helped to pollinate the flowers that are home to a rare species of butterfly that lives nowhere else in the world. This year however, things were a little different as Paul’s farm was badly affected by Storm Desmond in December 2015.  The land that he uses for conservation work was completely flooded and all of the 11 bridges on his farm were washed away.  He has only been able to repair 3 so far so we helped by finding sleepers that had been washed away and moving them so they can be used to repair his bridges.  Without the bridges Paul and the animals can’t access large parts of his farm.

With such close links to the Lake District, last Christmas our current and previous Year 6 classes raised money to donate to the Cumbria Flood Appeal.  When we told Paul about this during our visit in September 2016 he was incredibly touched and has written this letter to say thank you: