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Woodhall Estate Day

Woodhall Estate, Hertfordshire, in partnership with Countryside Learning, played host to approx. 150 schoolchildren for an outdoor learning experience designed to give them an insight into the workings of the estate and the countryside.

Brian Hayes reports:

The event centered around what appeared to be a lake, but was in actual fact an extended part of the river, introduced the children to the mysteries of Falconry, Gun Dog training, Farm Machinery. A demonstration of forestry, seed planting and making corn dollies and the display by the Educational Trust and the Estate Keepers. It was a wonderful setting and if the children had their wits about them they would have seen more swallows, swifts and butterflies as the they walked around the site than I have seen in a long time as well as a family of Great Crested Grebes on the water.

From the Trust's point of view we had a great day with plenty of time, just, to really interact with the children and teachers and explain the role of the keeper and the importance of both habitat management and predator control in conservation. It is quite interesting how some will look at many alternatives to predator control, I allow them to pursue that line as far as they wish but invariably they come to their own conclusion that responsible lethal control is sometimes the only practical solution.

The most challenging group of the day was a group of 16 - 17 year olds some of whom had very fixed views about the role of the keeper but I think I won most of them round eventually. Just shows how important it is to get the message out to schools early that the keeper has a hugely significant and positive part to play in the countryside.

Thanks to Head Keeper Nick and both underkeepers, Kevin and Nick for their help and to the Estate owners for inviting the Trust to take part.

Beautiful house at Woodhall Estate
Woodhall Estate river view
Great crested grebe on the lake
View down the river
Weir gate that creates the lake
Weir gate that creates the lake and a waterfall
Beautiful house at Woodhall Estate

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