On Thursday 3 May Year 3 visited Westonbirt Arboretum to find out more about woodland animals. We went by school minibus with Ms Appleby and Mrs Brett.
When we arrived, we met Hannah and Emma who took us to a classroom where they gave us a safety talk. We walked into the woodlands where we saw rhododendrons, bluebells and wood anemones. We learned about the gingko tree, which the dinosaurs ate, and a very rare deciduous pine tree and a candyfloss tree that smells of candyfloss in spring and autumn.
Next, we went to the oak tree. Hannah taught us about the animals that depend on oak trees. She said there are 400 animals. Squirrels eat the acorns, saplings are eaten by deer and rabbits, the leaves on the tree are eaten by caterpillars, and the bark is eaten by burrowing beetles. Woodpeckers, owls and hawks live in the tree, badgers and other tunnelling mammals live under the tree and the nuthatch wedges seeds in the bark so that it can crack them open more easily.
After that, we carried out research to find evidence of animals and what they eat. We saw signs of birds, squirrels, badgers, rabbits and many insects. Following that, Hannah gave us each a picture of an animal or plant. We stood in a circle and she made a food web using string.
It was really tricky to understand but it taught us that everything in the forest is connected and we shouldn’t cut down trees. Then we went to search for insects. We turned over logs and stones and brushed the creatures into a magnifying pot. Using an identifying key we worked out what we had found. True flies, spiders, centipedes, beetle, millipedes, slugs and pill woodlice are all creatures we discovered.
Next, we had lunch outside because it was a beautiful sunny day. Afterwards, we all went on a walk along a path that went through the treetops to Silk Woods. Here we looks for footprints. Again using a key, we identified rabbit, deer and lots of dog prints.
Finally, we had a visit to the shops and returned to school for the end of the day.
We thought the trip was terrific and we would like to go back again.