Water Everywhere!

Monday, February 19th 2018

On Friday morning, while some went to Warcop and Wathgill to put up the owl boxes, 21 adults and children came to Foxglove to take part in the 'Wonderful Water' event.  This was an interesting event to run as not only was the age range from less than 1 to over 60, but much of the water was all around but frozen.

We started with getting some idea about how much people knew about water and how important it is for life.  With less than 1% of the world's water being freshwater that is available for use by humans and terrestrial animals, and with parts of the human body, such as the brain, being 60% water, this is a precious commodity.  It's ability to help in the evaporation and transpiration processes in plants through molecular bonding which also supports surface tension for Pond Skaters to use when walking on the water surface makes it a key material in supporting life.

We then went outside to look at how water flows using ping pong balls to float through a series of obstacles, before returning to the Field Centre to use water to act as part of the fuel to fire a small rocket into the air.  As one of the adults was celebrating his birthday, we agreed that he could go first.  He did well but his effort was quickly overtaken as we set the Foxglove Rocket Mission record distance of over 100 metres.  

The ice and frost remained over Saturday, but, as Sunday warmed, much of it has now melted.  There is now water everywhere and part of walking the Green Route this morning was identifying blocked drainage channels and clearing them or noting where new drains will have to be put in place. 

As we are now approaching the breeding season for amphibians, one key task is to keep the water flowing in to the ponds along Risedale Beck to make sure that there is enough for them to lay spawn in.  Sometimes this involves feeling for the inlet feeder pipe in muddy, cold water and clearing where the filter has become covered with leaves brough downstream.

The ponies' coats are definitely weatherproof with Lark showing a fine line where his coat changed from being rained on to being dry under his shoulders and belly.

This afternoon has been spent re-staking some of the Scots Pine trees planted near to the Outdoor Classroom and replacing cable ties on some trees with proper tree ties.  There is still more of this to do, which will be continued tomorrow alongside the work planned for the Volunteers.

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