Wednesday and Thursday Outdoor Ed were helping run the sessions of the Lammermuir hillwalks being delivered to Campie Primary’s P7s by Fiona Stark.
The group started from Hopes farm and walked up Sting Bank Burn at the end of the reservoir. Due to the large number of dead sheep, weasle traps and fox snares seen there this area is now affectionately known to the pupils as Death Valley. A snack at the top , a swift march , a roll down the hills and a quick paddle had the group back at the mini-bus after an adventurous day out.
Post-script … Thursday’s group showed excellent teamwork by helping one of their less mobile classmates make it all the way up and round the dam … look in the pictures for the ‘human dog-sled team’ helping to pull the buggy up the dam track.
As part of their Life Skills program a party of PL S3s spent monday and tuesday camping and exploring the Lammermuirs above Hopes Reservoir.
The group walked in around reservoir on the monday and set up camp near the shore. After a brew and and come chilling it was an evening hike up to the summit of Lammer Law. The route was up Sting Bank Burn, now affectionately know by the students as Death Valley. Partly because of the large number of dead sheep that the winter snows have claimed, and partly due to the plethora of vermin traps. These included bridge traps for weasels and stoats and snares for foxes.
After a fine nights camp the group completed the walk around the reservoir and back via West Hopes Farm, here yet more killing machines were in evidence in the form of a larson trap.
Friday was a walk up and round Hopes on a re-validation for the East Lothian Council’s Local Hillwalk Leadership Award. The group was made up staff form the Countryside Rangers and the Outdoor Ed Service.
Despite the Rangers being subjected to some devious navigational challenges, it didn’t seem to deter them from some eagle-eyed wildlife spotting. Highlights for me included seeing my first Ring Ouzel in ages – and of course the Lesser Celandine.
For those that want to pick over the details of where we went, the following is a live map of the GPS track of our route – unfortunately I forgot to turn off the device before driving home (again)! You can zoom in and turn on the satellite photos to see exactly where we went, or click on the ‘Start Marker’ to open in the Garmen Connect player. It is pretty accurate – the lack of points in some places is unfortunate and probably due to the fact that I confused the darn thing by adding on an additional 15km drive at well above walking pace. (And NO I didn’t use it to ‘cheat’ through the day, it was in my bag!)
All of the pupils were responsible for leading different legs of their journey around the reservoir and back over the hill-tops. They all learned how to read an Ordnance Survey map, how to to calculate how far they have walked by using the map’s scale – and why it ‘hurts more‘ when your route crosses lots of those brown lines on the map. (Going up-hill over lots of contours!). However one group did have fun on the descents – click here for the video.