Being fairly new to life at Running Deer (I only started last Sept) and being a resident of Cornwall (a few miles away from north Dartmoor) I know very little of the school’s local area.
So when a chance to take a walk to a new place arose I jumped at the chance to explore and learn more. I also knew that it would be a fantastic opportunity to chat with my student about map reading and share some of these skills in the process.
A Walk with Purpose
So with lunch in our backpacks and map in hand we set off across the foggy moors towards Butterdon Common. Our student, JH, wanted to explore a new bottle dump for finds for an art project, so it was a great reason to walk, talk and enjoy the wildlife on the way.
Every now and then we’d stop for a map check, looking at our compass to check the direction, getting a sense of where we were in the environment, and that we were heading in the right direction through the moorland mist!
Once on the common the sun slowly burnt off the fog, giving us a fine view of Cranbrook Castle, which was near our destination and allowed us to orientate our map once more using landmarks and compass bearings to direct us onwards.
We walked through fields, crossed stiles, peered into sheep creeps and admired the snowdrops as we went. Crossing the road, we found some inquisitive black and white sheep, a red ants nest and could also hear the brook in the valley nearby as we walked. The sun shone and jackets came off as we neared our destination, up the hill, heading south west.
Then there it was, our spot for the day. JH busied himself looking for finds, trowel in hand whilst I admired the view and felt I knew the area a little better and sipped on a well earned coffee.