West Norfolk pupils go wild for Springwatch

West Norfolk pupils go wild for Springwatch
Michaela Dartford with children enjoying the outdoor life and toasted marshmallows

Children at Snettisham Primary School and Heacham Infant and Junior School have been involved in a project being run by Springwatch hosts - Wild Ken Hill.

This year’s BBC Springwatch programme will be closely watched by pupils at West Norfolk schools which have close ties with the venue being used by Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and crew.

Each class at the schools, members of the 11-strong West Norfolk Academies Trust, will be involved in the initiative which started in February and will continue throughout the year.

“We started in the spring term when we collaborated with families and Nick Padwick, manager of the Ken Hill estate, through Zoom presentations to learn about the size of the project and the animals being re-introduced there,” said executive headteacher Louise Jackson.

The BBC Springwatch team will be live at Ken Hill from Tuesday to Friday nights for three weeks until June 11.

“Pupils in Key Stage 2 at Snettisham will be taking a tour of the rewilding site and one of our classes has already made a visit and were lucky enough to see a pair of red kites. We are also delighted that White Tailed Eagles will be reintroduced to our area,” said Mrs Jackson.

The tour was led by Michaela Dartford who also visited Heacham Infants to help younger children enjoy Forest School sessions and to look closely at micro-habitats on the school site.

“Everyone also enjoyed a fire with roasted marshmallows,” added Mrs Jackson.

The Wild Ken Hill rewilding project is looking to restore and rewild a traditional landscape, managing nature with a ‘light touch’ and reintroducing beavers and grazing animals including Red Poll cattle, Tamworth pigs and Exmoor ponies.

The site has 1,040 acres and includes a variety of habitats from mixed woodland to meadow and heathlands which are home to a range of native species.