Box Moor Trust gives Hemel schoolchildren the opportunity to connect with nature

Boat trips give children the chance to learn about nature and the environment

Monday, 5th July 2021, 4:28 pm

Hundreds of schoolchildren in Hemel Hempstead recently enjoyed a day away from their classrooms to learn about nature and the environment with the Box Moor Trust.

With restrictions finally beginning to relax after many months of strict adherence to Covid-19 rules, Box Moor Trust is slowly getting back to delivering some of it's popular children’s wildlife activities.

Over the course of a couple of weeks in June, over 200 children from three local primary schools - Boxmoor Primary School, Chaulden Junior School and St Rose's Catholic Infant School and Nursery - were lucky enough to enjoy wildlife days at Box Moor Trust's lovely Gadespring site, learning about the natural world and in particular their local environment.

Nature watching from the hide (C) Julie James
Nature watching from the hide (C) Julie James

On their visits, the children saw frogs, toads, damselflies, newts, birds, moths, wildflowers and lots of underwater creepy-crawlies from the special dipping pond. Several were even lucky enough to see one of the trust's introduced water voles feeding on apples.

The boat trips are part of a collaboration between the Box Moor Trust and Waterways Experiences, who offer boat trips to community groups of all kinds.

Since acquiring Gadespring in 2011, trustees, staff and volunteers have worked hard to preserve and enhance the unique wetland habitat of this fascinating former watercress farm, and wildlife there has flourished as a result.

It is one of the key sites involved in the water vole reintroduction project, and these iconic little mammals are regularly seen there and are known to be breeding.

Sheldrake III at Gadespring (C) Maria McBride, courtesy of Waterways Experiences

Trust Chairman David Kirk said: “Our thanks go to Waterways Experience from Nash Mills for their assistance in bringing over their fabulous wide boat Sheldrake III to use as a static floating classroom during these activities.

"We hope that they will be back carrying out their special cruises very soon.”

Bloody-nosed Beetle (C) Tawny James
Water vole eating apple (C) Tawny James