The platform lends itself to a pond dipping activity.
Each group in turn, leaves their ID chart, plastic spoon and cutlery tray on the grass at the edge of the cycle way and takes down to the platform, a net for catching water animals and a seed tray.
Put pond water in the seed tray.
Put the net into the water and sweep it around to disturb the bottom.
Then make 3 passes with the net in the disturbed area.
Emptying the net after each sweep very carefully into the seed tray. Then they returned to the cycleway with their catch.
To make identification easier sort them into cutlery trays using the teaspoon.
On page 19 of the Carlton Sanctuary 2000 Pack there are detailed lessons planned – Invertebrate Sampling, Aquatic.
For older children I have included the Invertebrate Recording Chart that was used by 16 year olds at Hallsannery Field Centre to investigate tropic levels in a pond. They used a sampling method of ten second disturbance in the range of water and 3 x 1 metre sweeps with pond nets.
Southmead School have six pond dipping nets, which can be borrowed by other schools and community groups by contacting 01271 812448.Extracts taken from The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Grassland Pack