Never work with children and animals. I categorically refute that statement. Every time I take a group out on to the shore or beside the estuary or river I am amazed by either one of them - normally both.
Yesterday, I took a school group out for "Moor to Sea". The school is situated beside the upper reaches of the source of the estuary. Surrounding the estuary are a series of streams that create an amazing merge of freshwater and saltwater creatures. In the workshop the children discovered newts, tadpoles, hundreds of grasshoppers, crabs, samphire and much more besides. We'll be working up our poems and creative pieces tomorrow.
Today, I headed up to the upper reaches of the Avon - to meet with South Brent Primary School. We walked down from the school to what is locally called, "The Island" where the river forks to create an open grassy knoll which seems to be popular haven for dogs & their walkers!
We discovered caddis fly larvae, worms, shield bug, nuthatch, dipper, an array of insects and...wait for this...a jay swooping down on a tawny owl. I'm not sure who was more excited the children or adults! It's moments like these which are just so priceless.
When we got back to the classroom the children made some amazing descriptive pieces of writing, poems and stories. I asked them, "What was the best thing you saw today?" a child's voice piped up - "shieldbug!"
...reminding us all that every creature is special.