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Wild Summer 5 - Pond Dipping

Posted: Monday 24th August 2015 by Joe.P

Pond dipping at EcoPark, Alice KeoghPond dipping at EcoPark

Wild Summer volunteer Alice Keogh reports on the fifth week of our wild summer at EcoPark as families delved into the underwater world with some pond dipping and made colourful dragonflies to take home thanks to the support of players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Over the course of three days 28 families arrived at EcoPark to take turns in discovering all the creatures which dwell within ponds as well as making their own colourful dragonfly! Families were equipped with trays of pond water, an identification sheet and of course some nets in order to catch all the creatures to be found underwater. Before setting off Guy our education officer told us all to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground whilst dipping, unless we wanted to swim with the pond creatures ourselves!

Children of all ages and backgrounds got to dipping with excitement and enthusiasm, only matched by their own parents, who also delighted in finding all the creatures dwelling in the deep. There were a variety of exciting finds throughout the day, from tadpoles at all stages of development including those growing tiny back legs! To baby newts and even later in the day a full grown one. Children also found underwater hog louses, fearsome dragonfly nymphs, gruesome leeches and delicate little pea mussels.

After identifying all their finds in their trays children cleaned their hands with some antibacterial hand wash and watched as we released the tiny critters back into the ponds. It was then time to make some colourful dragonflies out of pipe cleaners and dolly pegs. Shading in the pegs with all kinds of wonderful colours and designs children created legs out of one pipe cleaner and used two more to create wings. To finish off their creation they used a final pipe cleaner and some beads to give their dragonfly antennae.

Once finished the children made their dragonflies fly and swoop through the air whilst some children even used additional pipe cleaners to make a variety of jewellery. It was a fun filled creative few days at EcoPark full of discovery and creativity. Finding out what lives in the urban environment which surrounds us opened many families' eyes to the wealth of diverse and strange creatures which can be found in Birmingham.

Alice Keogh

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