This April, Wales’ first Outdoor Learning week was held. The aim of the week was to celebrate all the wonderful outdoor learning which takes place in Wales and inspire teachers, learning groups and families to make outdoor learning part of school and family life. According to Natural Resources Wales:
The natural environment in Wales is the largest classroom we have and is available all year round. Getting in touch with nature and the natural world is beneficial to us and to the environment!
Many schools and groups took part in the week and many events were held; perhaps your school was involved? One of the events was a follow up to the Acorn Antics project that was held last Autumn by NRW,
where many schools and
groups got together in the
Clocaenog Forest to plant oak
saplings. One of the groups
there was Ysgol Caer Drewyn’s
Eco Council. This is what three
of the children had to say about
“I learned a lot about the importance of planting trees. It was great to see the acorns we found being planted in a new location ready for the future.” said Willow
According to Freya “I really enjoyed it. I thought it was amazing. My favourite part of the experience was when we made sculptures out of sticks and stones.”
Eden added “I think it's really important to take part in days like this. I had lots of fun; it was a great day out. We did lots of fun activities like measuring trees.
Math loved going with Taid on his fishing boat, Taid knew everything about the shoreline, and today they were going to see a family of seals
'They usually rest on those rocks.' said Taid, pointing to a cluster near the shore. 'We'll get a little closer, then I'll switch off the engine, so that they don't get scared, there's usually a seal pup there too, a young white one.'
But as the boat got nearer, there was no sign of the seals. 'Ah well, they must have found a better spot for sunbathing!' Taid was disappointed, he didn't want to take Math home without seeing the seals.
Math leaned on the side of the boat, watching the gulls diving from the cliffs. Waw! They were fast, then Math spotted a shape
at the foot of the cliff, it looked like a stone, but then it moved. 'Taid, Taid, look, there's something there at the foot of the cliff, and it's making a strange noise!' said Math. Taid nodded sadly.
It's the gulls, they're always noisy, and that's just a piece of plastic. There is so much rubbish on the shoreline.'
But the shape was moving, struggling. The boat got nearer, taking care not to go too near the rocks. The engine off again, they could hear the sound clearly.
It was the wail of a small, white seal pup. 'Look Taid, it’s stuck! It's got itself stuck in that plastic netting!'
'Oh! It's the one I was telling you about Math!' Taid rushed to the cabin, he got on to his radio. 'We have to save it Taid!' But his grandfather was already putting the radio down,
'The people from the sea zoo are on their way, they were already out looking for the seal. They called it Lucky!'
They both watched Lucky the pup, feeling helpless and sad. Back on the rock where they had been looking earlier Taid
noticed that a large seal had appeared, watching. 'Look Math, it's his mother.'
Then the orange dinghy
appeared, and they watched as
the two experts worked to free
the seal pup.
'Will Lucky be ok now Taid?’ asked Math, as they followed the orange dinghy away from the shore. Then Math saw a splash, and a slippery dark shape moving towards the foot of the cliff, towards the pup. 'This one will be fine Math, thanks to you for spotting it.' But both Taid and Math knew, all young seals wouldn't be as fortunate as Lucky.
Living Seas Manager for North Wales Wildlife Trust. I develop projects for marine conservation, which means I help people to care for and protect the sea and coast wildlife. As a part of a team, I plan and organize events which allow people to enjoy marine wildlife while taking part in rock pool adventures, nature walks, kayaking, snorkelling and much more.
Mostly I work in Bangor, but I also work with the South West Wales Wildlife Trust, so occasionally I go down to the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, at New Quay - sometimes I can spot dolphins from my desk - I love it there!
Every day is different, sometimes I organize events, and that means a lot of planning. But I love the days when I can go to the beach or coast to organize or take part in events, or sometimes I go and investigate when something is washed up on shore.
I work with inspiring people as part of a team, who care for wildlife. I have to think of new and exciting ideas and resources, which means
I learn everyday. Seeing people's faces when they spot a dolphin for the first time is fantastic and really rewarding.
Sometimes I have to face difficult situations when wildlife or habitats are in danger - it's not easy when I see animals that are hurt - especially due to carelessness such as pollution.
When I was a child I loved looking for wildlife in the garden and in the countryside. While at university I volunteered with a marine conservation group and wanted to go to the Caribbean to work with sharks. But when I realised that we have fantastic wildlife in Wales I soon forgot about the Caribbean!
I studied Marine Zoology and Ecology at university, but the most important thing is to be inspired by nature. By taking an interest in wildlife, understanding will follow and that's when you realize we must protect our natural world.
Wales was the first country in the UK to charge 5p for a single-use plastic bag in shops. What's your opinion? Should shops charge for single-use bags? Here are two conflicting opinions.
Have you ever thought what Earth would be like without water? Simply, you would not be here and there would be no life on Earth! All living things need water and we have plenty in Wales. But water is precious – so turn that tap off!
Did you know that the water we drink is ancient? We drink the same water as the dinosaurs drank - wow!
Drink plenty of
water as your body
is 70% water.
97% of the Earth's water is salty and found in oceans and seas.
2% of the Earth's water is ice. Only 1% of Earth's water can be found as fresh water
The water we use is part of a process called the Water Cycle. What is the Water Cycle?
Warmth from the sun causes water to rise as water vapour (gas).
Water vapour cools down and turns back into water droplets (liquid) and form clouds.
The water droplets fall from the clouds as rain, sleet or snow.
The water collects in oceans, rivers, lakes and seeps into the earth.
Stretching over 750 miles, Wales’ coastline has played an important part in our history as a nation. Many disasters have happened in the seas around Wales but the most famous is probably the tragic story of the Royal Charter steam clipper that was sailing off the coast of Moelfre, Anglesey, on a stormy October night in 1859...
The Royal Charter was sailing from Australia to the port of Liverpool carrying a cargo of gold, wool and rich passengers. After crossing safely from the other side of the world the Royal Charter was sailing past Moelfre on the last part of her long journey, when a terrible storm arose. The ship was tossed by huge waves and thrown onto rocks only eighteen metres (18m) from the shore. In vain, the crew cut the masts and dropped two anchors to try and keep the ship from moving but the chains broke, and the ship was wrecked on the rocks. As dawn broke a brave sailor from Malta called Guze Ruggier (or Joseph Rogers as he was known) swam ashore with a rope tied to
his waist. A lucky few were rescued using a Bosun’s chair* and some Moelfre villagers formed a human chain* into the sea to rescue others. However, only 40 were rescued, with around 450 losing their lives within a stone’s throw of the shore.
*Bosun’s chair – a chair tied to a rope used to rescue people.
*Human chain – where people link arms to form a chain. One end of the ‘chain’ stays on land and the other end goes into the sea to try to rescue people.
WHERE TO GO IN WALES?
There is an obvious sea theme in our ideas of where to go in Wales for this issue...