My final day in Durham dawned very grey, with freezing fog and a light dusting of snow on the ground. I only had one school to visit before embarking on my journey home. For some strange reason, my Sat Nav decided to choose the most treacherous ‘off-piste’ route to take me… on the most hilly, frozen and scary roads in the whole of County Durham! I arrived at the school in a somewhat shaky state after I nearly lost control of my car down one particularly steep and icy stretch. I was very relieved to park up and head into the warm of Bishop Ian Ramsey Primary….and what a school! Only about 4 years old, it was beautifully spacious, clean and ‘new’ looking and Kirsty and I were welcomed into the warm and upstairs to the Year 6 class.
I started by giving an introduction to Kirsty and myself and then I talked to them about my work and told them all about Bushnell Trail Cams. There were clearly a number of children VERY interested in wildlife and some had seen trail cams on BBC wildlife programmes. They were full of interesting questions and very excited about the project. Their teacher, Andrew Rudge was also very keen to use the kit in school and I wanted to get outside to see what the school grounds were like.
Dressed warmly for arctic conditions, we headed outside, exiting the school onto a veranda-type decking area overlooking a large wooded area…. I looked at the kids…..yes! This was their school grounds!!! A great big area of mature woodland, as well as a huge field area, fringed with mature trees and then open land beyond! I could not believe it… we were going to have fun here!
The class led me all around the school grounds and proudly told me all about the area and what they did out there… it was wonderful and I knew that this school was going to get a lot out of having a Bushnell trail cam!
We talked about all the different location possibilities and decided on a tree facing an open area. We sprinkled some seed and food down and excitedly returned to the warmth of the classroom! The class promised to keep in touch and let me know if they captured anything!
I left school and started my journey back home… a journey that was going to take me 5 1/2 hours after the A1M was closed AGAIN! Driving through horrific wet conditions, I was mighty glad to safely get home after a super trip to County Durham.
There are ten schools included in this exciting project run by Durham Wildlife Trust, with Kirsty organising it all. All of these schools receive a Bushnell trail cam and help and support with its use and the upload of the clips. More about the project and the footage captured will be featuring on my website in the new year.
Update: On Monday, I received an email from Andrew…. the class had been very excited to go and take a look at the footage from the trail cam set up on Friday. I am delight to say that they have already captured some clips of foxes… wow! Well done guys! I will look forward to seeing more clips from you. These clips can be seen HERE on their website.