Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Thanks to National Lottery players it has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Fund

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Lowther Endowed Primary and Shap CE Primary school children have been encouraged to use their senses to connect with their environment and friends in themed teaching sessions such as ‘Sensational Senses’, ‘Magical Mini-Beasts’, ‘Terrific Trees’ and ‘Fabulous Flowers’.

These ‘sensational’ sessions have been created to help those socially isolated children who have not been allowed to return to main school to come together in a safe space, meet friends and take part in outdoor learning in an attempt to try and reverse some of the ill effects from COVID 19 and the isolation that it imposes.

Home schoolers have been able to come into school grounds once a week for an hour to take part in this series of environmental education activities with Nicola Estill, our Community Engagement Officer.

Shap Primary home schoolers have been having fun making ‘smelly cocktails’ during a ‘Sensational Senses’ session using their sense of smell. They’ve been encouraged to use their sense of hearing to draw sound maps with chalk on the playground depicting the sounds of wind in the trees, dogs, children’s voices and birds. Their sense of touch has been used to find opposites on a scavenger hunt; something rough, something smooth, hard, soft, warm or cold.

Nicola Estill, our Community Engagement Officer said,

“The children have been brilliant at socially distancing and following procedures with equipment but most importantly they were back in a school environment and were able to meet each other again and take part in organised activities.

“The emphasis is on socialisation and shared experiences, creative thinking, self-expression, play, exercise, fresh air and environmental learning.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the children and I do hope I have the opportunity to show them the fantastic natural and cultural heritage in the Westmorland Dales when school life returns to normal.”

The sessions have involved 20 to 30 children in the same groups or ‘bubbles’ over consecutive weeks at Lowther Endowed Primary and Shap CE Primary schools.