PUPILS have been getting their hands dirty while learning about the work of Danby’s Dawnay Estate.
The youngsters, from Caedmon School in Whitby, enjoyed an educational visit to the estate in Danby Common in the North York Moors National Park.
Graziers on the moor have entered into an Environmental Stewardship Scheme (ESS) agreement which encourages community involvement and increases awareness about how the moor is managed.
As part of their learning, the children enjoyed activities including a treasure hunt using map skills and GPS units, river habitat surveys and moorland field studies.
Through these activities, the pupils learnt about moorland management and how this can be beneficial for wildlife and the local economy.
Robert Sword, resident agent for The Dawnay Estate, said: “The Danby Moor ESS was one of the first agreements to be signed up with Natural England and is now entering its third year.
“The scheme is used to encourage sympathetic moorland management and to maintain special quality sheep flocks on the moor.
“It also has an important element in explaining the moor to school children and adults, and Caedmon School’s visit is an example of the co-operation between teachers, moorland managers and farmers.”
Martin Colclough, head of Geography at Caedmon School, added: “This was an excellent opportunity for children to study aspects of geography within their local environment.
“They have been able to develop many fieldwork skills in a fun and enjoyable way while gaining an awareness of the moor and how it is managed.”
Year 9 Max Crossling said he really enjoyed the day, adding: “We learnt a lot about soil, how rock horizons are formed and about footpath erosion.
“We also did a lot of fieldwork out on the moor, from checking the soil type and doing Ph and soil compaction
A total of 10 local schools have been invited to participate in the project.
“We had a presentation on the North York Moors National Park and what it is used for such as recreation, shooting and farming activities.”