April ’15: King’s School at Teggs Nose Country Park

Year 5 pupils from Kings’ School visited Teggs Nose Country Park for a day of glorious sunshine and incredible across the Cheshire Plain.

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Ranger Martin James was joined by Wildlife Explorer volunteer Leaders Tina Hanak and Kat Mayer as he introduced students to the natural history of the site and how the different habitats are managed for wildlife.

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In the morning Martin lead a nature ramble on a circuit of the whole site, taking in meadows, woodland, scrub and farmland.

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During the walk the group got good views of Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and a parachuting Skylark (the term for its display – flying very high then rapidly back to the ground). We learned to recognise the calls of some common birds and everyone was prepare to listen out for the distinctive calls of two migrant birds: the Chiffchaff and Willow warbler.

Working in pairs children produced a sound map, listening carefully for natural sounds like birdsong and bees buzzing as well as background noises like aircraft engines and even a camera shutter.

The group were tasked with looking out for various spring wildflowers. The mountain pansies were starting to come out in the meadows and we spotted lots of violets, particularly near the hedgerows.

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Probably the best spot of the day was the beautiful, iridescent Green Hairstreak butterflies basking in the sunshine on their caterpillar’s food plant – the bilberry.

A steep walk back to the visitor centre was rewarded with a welcome break and time for refuelling with a packed lunch.

The afternoon session was a guided version of the ‘Teggs Nose Rocks’ Geology trail where students learned how the geology of the park influenced both its industrial and natural heritage.

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