SIDCOT SCHOOL CREATES A UNIQUE NATURE TRAIL FOR THE PUBLIC - THAT HAS REMAINED HIDDEN FOR MORE THAN 300 YEARS.
By YouPR | Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 11:49
SIDCOT School in Winscombe has created a unique nature trail for the public which has been a hidden gem for more than 300 years.
Sidcot Nature Trail with Adrian Boots and Sidcot pupils
The four kilometre Sidcot Nature Trail is set in 120 acres of unspoiled pastures, woodland, springs, streams and combes at the 17th Century Independent Quaker School on the edge of the Mendips.
Sidcot School is the only Quaker school in the South West and one of only seven in the UK. Its approach to education is based on Quaker beliefs where all members of the community are equally valued resulting in open, friendly and courteous, relationships between pupils and staff. They welcome all faiths or none.
It opened in 1699 as an independent and boarding school and now has more than 500 pupils aged three to 18.
The School's Community Events Manager, Emma Davis said: "We commissioned this trail to help our pupils and the local community enjoy the stunning natural landscape.
"It is now an important part of the School's environmental activities and community outreach."
The George Cadbury Trust which offers grants to voluntary and community organisations helped finance the project which was designed by local ecologist Adrian Boots.
Adrian, of Blagdon, who has studied survival skills with Ray Mears and runs his own wild food, camping and bush craft courses, said: "Sidcot School has absolutely fantastic land.
"It's been wonderful to discover the natural environmental qualities of the trail and see the children so closely involved."
Pupils have created a special handbook to accompany the trail with watercolours of cowslips, orchids, birdfoot trefoil and celandines.
The walk is signposted and a downloadable map shows coppice woods and 'swallets' where limestone streams from the Mendip disappear underground.
It starts at 'Tom's field', named after a much-loved working horse, and ends at Mystery Pillars where walkers can walk on to Shipham.
However, with permission from Sidcot School, ramblers can carry on past Sidcot Hill, Washpond Paddock and ancient hedgerows.
For a copy of the nature trail go to ww.sidcot.org.uk. For further information on teaching materials and wider walks please contact Emma Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gary Smith, email@example.com or call 01934 845228.