A press release on what we’ve just done today!
Children cycled through the woods, learned about the nature on their doorstep and made mini woodscapes around a fire
On Tuesday 5th July, 14 exhilarated children from Trevithick School rode through the historic Crenver Grove at Praze-an-Beeble. Different stops were made en route at specially-created bike parks – some of which were secret stops and shelters that Dave Davies from Sustrans and artist Dominica Williamson had prepared for the children.
Before they started Davies taught them how to check their bikes for safety and how to ride the woods safely. Each stop they made was an invite for them to view a different aspect of the woodland and a chance for them to gather objects. Dave Readman of Cotna, a tree identification expert, explained the different aspects of the wood and the children were then encouraged to draw and collect objects based on these.
Children prepare their bikes with Dave Davies of Sustrans and then take off into the woods!
Dave Readman from Cotna helped them identify what they were choosing. Photographs by Andy Hughes.
At the final stop, a shelter in the woods with a camp fire, the children put their newly-learned skills and awareness to use and created small woodscapes – miniature ecosystems with materials found in the grove. Through collecting objects such as plant matter, stones and soil, as well as assembling words and colours, the children developed their sensory skills whilst also contributing to nature.
‘I felt lost but then free,’ one child said when asked to think about how her head, hands and feet felt after riding and exploring the grove. Many of the children agreed their cycling skills had improved and they were excited to see if their woodscapes grew.
Data collected through this workshop will appear on maps about the woods, which are to be exhibited in Crenver Grove in the autumn. The children, their teachers and families will all be invited to see how their contributions evolved. The maps and woodscapes will also travel to the Royal Geographical Society’s International Annual Conference in London on 1st September.
Mini eco-systems are made once the fire is going. Work is exhibited as the afternoon progresses – popping up around the children.
Dave Davies of Sustrans and artist Dominica Williamson collaborated in Crenver Grove, managed by www.sustrust.co.uk, to bring this workshop. The workshop is part of a Leverhulme Trust Plymouth University project called Tagscape – www.tagscape.co.uk.
It is the first event in the woods since the passing of Pip Richards, the Director of Sustrust. ‘It is a fantastic woodland for the community’, says Dominica, ‘A wonderful gift that Pip has left.’ Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer or use the woods for an event.