NUTS Project – ‘Night Under the Stars’ with Okehampton Primary School

03 October 2022 | ,

Our trust and the Dartmoor Rangers are working on 3 initiatives together which will enrich the curriculum for our children and offer them new experiences in the beauty of their local environment on Dartmoor.

Let’s read how the NUTs project went for Okehampton Primary School……

An overnight visit to a Dartmoor farm.

The children arrived by minibus and after a short introduction about the farm and keeping safe they worked in teams to set up tents. Everyone then ate dinner together, which included beef from the farm, and then they worked as a team to wash and tidy up. ​​​​​​​The group were taken on a 2.5km night walk around the perimeter of the Farm, onto common land and down military tracks. During this walk they saw lots of signs of farming on the common. The group stopped at several points in the walk to talk about stars and satellites, orienteering in the dark, and animals with night vision. The group struggled to complete a 2 minutes silence with all the torches off but did much better during the second attempt. After the night walk the group had hot chocolates and toasted marshmallows around a campfire then chatted in their tents and went to sleep. Some of the group struggled to sleep and there was chatting on and off through most of the night. The group had breakfast together at 7:30am then got dressed and ready. The group were taken to explore the small copse on the farm where they found lots of mushrooms, slugs, bones, and deadwood. We then had a farm tour from the farmer who involved the group in collecting eggs, feeding the chickens, feeding the goats, and learning lots about animal husbandry. The group then returned to pack up their sleeping bags and belongings before the minibus came to collect them. Each child got to take home a fresh egg from the chickens.

Katherine Koster-Shadbolt, Community Engagement Ranger of the Dartmoor National Park Authority said:

‘This was such a successful event, the children got so much out of it and many of them had not been camping or up to the moor before. I would love to facilitate further engagement between the school and the farm as both sides seem very keen.’

Many thanks to Sally Huxen for camping overnight with her group of OPS pupils.

We are hoping that a group of Okehampton College students will take part in a NUTS weekend in the Spring.