Children from Criftins and Cockshutt primary schools were the first young people to try out an ‘arctic geology research station’ at TG’s Wood Lane nature reserve, near Ellesmere on Tuesday 13 March. An old bird hide on the reserve has been transformed into an eye-catching and thought-provoking room for school groups, with an Ice Age mural at the entrance.
Geology, rocks and fossils are compulsory parts of both the science and geography curriculum at Key Stage 2 and 3 but are a difficult subject to bring to life. In a county renowned for its array of geology, Wood Lane is the perfect place to study rocks. The gravel quarried on the site was deposited by glacial meltwater at the end of the last Ice Age and so contains examples of different rock types from all over the country.
Our Rock Stars session includes an encounter with some talking rocks, who tell the tale of their journeys across the country, a trailer tour of the working quarry and a classroom-based experiment to investigate the properties of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The new education space provides the perfect setting for the indoor parts of the session, with a large display showing the rock cycle, where the rocks came from and the best places to see geology in Shropshire.
The artwork, which includes a mammoth strolling across an icy landscape, was created by Helen Shackleton, an award-winning designer. The project has been funded by Tudor Griffiths Environment Fund.
As well as schoolchildren, the information should be of interest to the casual visitor and access to the hide is by the same code as the other hides at Wood Lane (permits and the code can be obtained by contacting Di Smith, Tudor Griffiths Group, Wood Lane, Ellesmere, SY12 0HY (01691 626262).
For more information on all of the education sessions visit https://www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/ or contact Ellie or Bryony in the Shropshire Wildlife Trust’s People and Wildlife Team 01743 284280.