Pond Dipping at Trentham Gardens


Years 2, 3 and 4 arrived at Trentham Gardens to be greeted by Alison from the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. After a short introduction we walked through the gardens where we stopped from time to time whilst Alison talked to us about Capability Brown and the types of trees that he planted 250 years ago including a Tulip tree, a Cedar and Copper Beech. We then had a briefing in the classroom where we talked about the rules when pond dipping and where we changed into our wellingtons and waterproofs.

We then walked through the Italian Gardens to the lake where we saw a Coots nest being tended to by both parents and also saw some Mallard ducklings. The children were amazed to learn, from our guide, that the lake had been dug out by hand and not by machinery and that it was not very deep.

At the pond dipping platform the children were introduced to their pond dipping equipment and were shown how to identify different species using the minibeast keys. We then had great fun using the nets and magnifiers to identify the different pondlife! Alison asked the children to share their finds with each other and talked about life cycles of a dragonfly. We then discussed what each of the minibeasts ate that we had caught. The children especially loved hearing about the ‘Water Boatman’ and the way that it consumes it prey.

After lunch the children then spent time exploring the show gardens where we saw different plant species and dragonflies. After fun in the beautiful play area the children encountered the maze and the Barefoot Walk. The children had great educational fun and enjoyed exploring the different areas.

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