Now in its third year Booted Up Bristol is back in Manor Woods, Bishopsworth this September doing hands-on fieldwork with nearly 300 year 5 and 6 schoolchildren from local schools. Using technology outside to record their investigations the children are encouraged to use the kit instead of being told ‘don’t touch’.
The organisers, Bristol City Council’s Living Rivers Project, work closely with the City Learning Centres, the Environment Agency and Bristol Parks Nature in the City Project, as well as volunteers from Malago Valley Conservation Group and Atkins Consulting to provide a range of expert skills and local knowledge.
The children undertake a range of investigations on the River Malago including depth profiles and searching for macro-invertebrates with nets. In Manor Woods they do some litter picking and learn about habitats, leaf types and minibeasts that live in the trees and on the ground. During one of two nature trails they use both high technology kit such as Personal Data Assistants (PDA’s) and MP3 players and more traditional kit such as a compass to find out where to go and make nature palettes to represent their journeys.
Each school is provided with a CD of all their data, images and sounds and a curriculum pack of ideas and useful website links to continue their learning back at school.
Kathy Derrick, Senior Scientific Officer at Bristol City Council said ” This is an opportunity for local children to explore and experiment with nature on their doorstep in a hands-on way. Manor Woods, soon be designated a Local Nature Reserve, is a fantastic resource. We hope the children will remember this experience in the future and remember to keep the woods and river clean and safe for others to enjoy as well. “