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Young Heritage Hunters

TES have a really useful video showing how journey sticks work.

Ancient hedgerows

During spring and summer the Eco Squad at Emerson Valley School explored a stretch of hedgerow on their school grounds. A hundred years ago the fields which developed into Milton Keynes were surrounded by hedgerows. During the development of Milton Keynes fields gave way to housing estates and old hedgerows were removed. Then in 1997 it became illegal to remove or change an ancient hedgerow without approval, in order to preserve the environment. Since then there have been initiatives to preserve and promote British hedgerows.

In the past hedgerows were not only an important part of the environment but they were also an important part of the culture and economy with people making a living from the plants and animals.

In the first session we explored the hedgerow. The students created a journey stick to document their exploration. Pairs of students got a pea cane - as they walked through the hedgerow they picked up items from the hedgerow and tied them to the stick. The rules were that they could not pick up anything alive or dangerous. In the following session we talked about what they had found.

The second session saw us back in the hedgerow hunting for bugs. The students used magnifying glasses and bug viewers, and took pictures of the insects. They carried out research to find out what they were. They were put together into a PowerPoint file.

For the next session we had a talk from a gentleman who used to work for the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. He explained how the area had changed and how decisions about these changes had been made.

In the final session we carried out a survey of the hedgerow using a survey designed by Hedgelink. This has now been removed but there are still lots of resources on their web site.