High jinks at Hanningfield!

Year 7 students at Hedingham School abandoned normal lessons for part of this week and headed for the reservoir at Hanningfield to hunt for invertebrates in a variety of ecological settings.  The sun was very hot but luckily the woodland areas provided some shade for the students to work in.  They had a lot of fun pond dipping and identifying a wide range of different water loving creatures including juvenile newts or efts.  Rachel Alexander aged 12 from High Garrett commented, ‘It was really cool to find a great crested newt with my first swipe with a net.  As it was a female I called her Naomi!’

Then it was off to the woodland area where students had the opportunity to ‘tree beat’ and search the canopies for invertebrates which liked living amongst the leaves.  There were shrieks as earwigs and harvestmen landed on students’ heads as the invertebrates were shaken from their resting places! Finally students dug into deep leaf litter to explore what invertebrates preferred to live nearer the ground and compared this to what they could find in long grass and nettles on the meadow land.