Boats and Nature Reserves: the 2018 Experience Days

Published: 15th May, 2018

The Water, Mills and Marshes Experience Days for Lowestoft Primary Schools are coming to an end – only two left! I can’t believe it. When they started at the end of March, the end of 21 trips seemed a looong time away. For my part it’s been great. I love the children’s excitement as they step on a boat for the first time or discover their net, that has “nothing in it miss!”, release hundreds of daphnia, mayfly nymphs, water boatmen, caddis fly and phantom midge larvae into their waiting trays. Or the look on their faces as we jump on the peat and literally feel the earth move under our feet!

We collected feedback from 175 students about what they liked, what they learnt/saw for the first time and how they would rate the day. They gave us a wonderful 8.9/10!

Their words will probably do a much better job to convey what they thought. So here are a selection:

On the Waveney Princess Boat, Oulton Broad:

I liked that we got to have a look through the binoculars and that we saw lots of wildlife. We liked looking at all the animals and waving to people! I’ve never been on a boat before and saw lovely things. I loved everything. I got to see animals I’ve never seen before such as otters, deer and more.

At Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve:

We liked the dyke dipping. We liked seeing all the animals and we caught lots of insects. It’s different. I enjoyed doing the mammal trail. We learnt about different habitats. Walking in the marsh. People can see the water voles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the students learnt or experienced for the first time during the day:

I learnt that you can come to the nature reserve for free; that a weasel can eat a whole rabbit; that bats fly around here at night; that Romans brought plants that you can eat;  that some birds get blown to England by storms; that otters live in Britain; that houses have a thatch roof; that bitterns live in reed beds; that Nicholas Everitt park was named after a spy; that reed beds protect the banks; that you can jump on peat and it vibrates; that larvae turned into flying insects. 

We saw for the first time an Egyptian goose; a leech; the endangered spider; phantom midges.