Deeside pupils join Shotton Steel Environment Officers for a day of discovery
Year 4 pupils from Golftyn Primary School in Connah’s Quay saw how a large industry can coexist with, and encourage nature to thrive right on its doorstep, when they recently visited Tata Steel’s Nature Reserve at Shotton Works.
Over 60 children and teachers joined two Environment Officers from the steel works, who demonstrated how The Nature Reserve, known as the Tern Lagoons, are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The lagoons are large breeding site for the Common Tern, which migrates to the area from as far away as Morocco. These lagoons only exist at Shotton Works because of the water used in the processes to cool steel strip after it comes out of the ovens.
The pupils from the two classes were given a guided tour around the lagoons, and had two presentations from local groups (the Merseyside Ringing Group, and Dee Wildfowlers and Wetlands Management Club) explaining how they interact with the Reserve.
Peter Coffey, from the Merseyside Ringing Group, explained how they use lightweight nets to gently catch birds and put special rings on their legs so they can be monitored over their lives, all over the world.
Hwfa Jones, from the Dee Wildfowlers, took the children through some of the history of local hunting, and with Ham the dog, safely demonstrated what they aim to do on the marsh.
Both groups are involved with maintaining and improving the Nature Reserve, along with Tata Steel employees.
Back in the class room based at Shotton Works, the pupils were given packs including information on food webs, the history of Shotton Site, and migration, and were shown videos of some of the other natural visitors to the area over the year.
Tata Steel’s Senior Environment Officer at Shotton Peter Shephard said:
“At Shotton, we take our responsibility to maintain the lagoons very seriously. It’s always a great pleasure to show groups of enthusiastic children this special aspect of the site, and the feedback we get from them is great – although Ham the dog is always a very popular star of the show!”
The range of topics covered are ideal for children from Year 2-6, and can be tailored to the topics being covered in school at the time.
The class room can accommodate 20-30 pupils and teachers.
School visits to the Reserve have happened almost every year for more than six years, with Golftyn Primary itself having their first class visit the Reserve in 2010.
They typically take place between May and July, although Autumn visits can also be arranged.
Visits to the Nature Reserve MUST be organised 1-2 months in advance; the area is not open to the public.
If you would be interested in visiting the Nature Reserve with your school, please contact Peter Shephard by emailing email@example.com’ Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com