We have continued our series of local walks from the doorstep that we began during pandemic restrictions last year. On Thursday 14th October, Chestnut Class pioneered the Longden East Walk. The children took it in turns to lead the class using photographs, map and a compass to work our way across 24 way marks and 6.5 km of mostly off-road footpaths. We walked out of the back of the village and ascended eastwards, had lunch looking across to the Long Mynd and Stiperstones just below Exfords Green, onto Lyth Hill, Lyth Bank - including a quick hello to Mrs Tay who was busy in her garden! - and then struck out through the maize jungle towards School Lane and home. There were a few blisters from the new wellies but other than that we enjoyed a great adventure. Well done, Chestnut.
Monday 18th October was the turn of Oak Class. Our Geography theme this term has revolved around journeys and the value of adventure so Oak Class children were given maps and a few rough guideliness to plan their own route. They chose to go west, perhaps because we had had such great fun exploring Habberley Brook last summer with Arthog Outreach. Again, children took turns to lead a section of the route. Lunch found us at Lyd Holes, a spectacular mini-gorge with tumbling waterfalls under towering pine trees. We reached school just at home time, having covered about 8 km at a brisk pace. Brilliant adventure, Oak, well done.
The very next day, Willow and Maple reprised their Pirate Adventure Walk from the summer and hacked over the fields to the top of Broompatch where we were treated to a spectacular low-cloud and driving rain show in the valley below. On the way back, our very youngest adventurers led us in turn across rickety bridges, over wobbly stiles, past streams and a pond and finally back to the lane to school, the last stretch taking forever it seemed, on tired legs. Super walk, Willow and Maple, and weren't we lucky with the weather?
Finally, Ash Class also headed west to the same lunch spot. Having been trained in the dark arts of compass directions, their leaders used a bearing and a target feature to navigate our way across the fields. Having walked around to the north side of Broompatch, the ascent to the summit was brutal. At one point, the section leader was overtaken by some children keen to get stuck into lunch so we had to stop and re-form the column. As we re-started our climb, I overheard an astute child say to his partner, "Mr Tay only did that 'cause he needed to get his breath back."