Local primary schools on Anglesey recently came together to learn about woodland skills.
The three-day Woodland Skills Festival was held at Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, Llyn Parc Mawr and Llangoed Village Hall
Hosted by Anglesey County Council’s Countryside and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Team, Outdoor Learning Wales and Cwlwm Seiriol, the Festival enhanced pupils’ understanding of nature and sustainability, as well as assisting their fine-motor development and communication skills.
A total of 148 pupils from Ysgol Morswyn, Kingsland, Brynsiencyn, Parc y Bont, Beaumaris, Llangoed, and Llandegfan took part in several hands-on activities.
Under the guidance of AONB staff, the pupils made bird boxes using wood, screws, and electric drills. They also painted and decorated them at school, ready to be used at home.
Pupils also took part in a process known as ‘Hapa Zome leaf bashing’; using hammers to press natural pigments into cloth material to preserve a striking array of botanical forms.
Experimenting, under supervision, saw the children use a variety of natural acids and alkalis to enhance their prints. This made use of what pupils are taught in chemistry classes as well as building on their creativity skills.
The event also saw the pupils take part in a variety of botanical games, helping them to understand the essential role of biodiversity for the local environment. Other activities saw children take part in Green Wood Craft and ‘Botanist of the day’.
Ffion Jones, a teacher at Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan said, “The children had a great day developing new skills. Children may feel unconnected to nature in the digital age but this type of activity day highlights just how much children can enjoy themselves out in nature.
The children loved creating leather ornaments and wooden jewellery! We would like to thank those involved in organising it all for giving the children this unique experience!”
Deputy Council Leader and Economic Development portfolio holder, Councillor Carwyn Jones, added, “By taking part in this exciting festival, pupils were able to build connections between the knowledge gained in the classroom with practical skills, through a hands-on experience of working in nature.
The numerous activities combining academic learning with practical skills, also helped feed into the new school curriculum of Wales which promotes a holistic approach to learning. Hopefully, many of the pupils in attendance will go on to become future champions in promoting woodland skills.”
School staff would like to thank Natural Resources Wales, Outdoor Learning Wales, Anglesey AONB, Wild Elements and Cwlwm Seiriol who helped fund this fantastic series of outdoor activities.