Upon our arrival at HowHill, the children unpacked their bags,made up their bedrooms and then headed down to the classroom to find out what activities lay ahead for the rest of the day. Lizzie, one of the HowHill leaders, explained that we were going to split into two groups and head off for a nature walk through the wet and dry woodland.
The children really enjoyed the visit to the bird hide on Cromes Broad, identifying the bird life through binoculars and putting mud marks on their faces. After a quick snack and drink we went dyke dipping. The children loved working out which creatures they had captured in their nets.
After a hearty tea we enjoyed weaving before it was time to head to bed.
After a good night’s sleep the children awoke to a beautiful frosty morning overlooking the river Ant. Having eaten a hearty breakfast we took a peaceful boat trip to Barton Broad, again trying to identify the wildlife, with help from our HowHill leaders. One group were even lucky enough to see a kingfisher fly across the river.
After our river trip we headed to the classroom to create a HowHill inspired clay tile.
In the afternoon we became environmental scientists and investigated the quality of the water in the dykes around HowHill, compared to the water in nearby Barton Broad. This involved measuring the depth of the mud and water in the dykes, recording the vegetation found on the edges, in and under the water, working out the turbidity, and identifying vertebrates. We also had to collect a water sample to use back at the classroom to work out the acidity of the water.
We concluded that the water in the dykes was of a better quality than that of Barton Broad.
After another busy day we enjoyed a relaxing evening playing board games, cards and weaving before it was time to head to bed.
After another good night’s sleep another busy lay ahead.
In the morning we visited Toad Hole Cottage to see what life would be like for a Victorian marshman and his family, We found out how they stored and preserved their food, how they cooked and heated their home and looked at the different tools the marshman needed to carry out his work.We then headed in to the woods to build dens. Some amazing shelters were created.
After lunch, we headed back outside and learnt how to thatch a roof using traditional tools. We were then shown how to make reed candles around the fire-pit and finished the afternoon by painting our clay tiles.
After a delicious roast dinner it was time for Miss Murray’s Famous HowHill Quiz. Five rounds of fun including Disney film music, school facts and history. It was a close run quiz with Team Slytherin being the outright winners.