Pond Dipping

Upper Prep’s Trip to Wicken Fen

Last Friday, Upper Prep pupils put on their wellies and waterproofs and loaded into the minibus, ready for an exciting trip to Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

When they arrived, the pupils were greeted by National Trust staff members Andrew and Pam, who guided the afternoon’s activities. The class split into two, with one group following Pam to learn about different types of insects that might be found in the fen, what they eat and how many legs they have. Holding one another’s shoulders, the pupils imagined that they were a centipede capturing its ‘prey’ (in this case, the unfortunate Mrs Spriddell), and then donned some very funny-looking glasses to experience the world as a dragonfly with its compound eyes, hunting for other insects. The pupils ended the session by rolling over logs to find their own minibeasts, delighted to collect plenty of slugs, worms and spiders. 

Next the group joined Andrew, who directed the pond dipping activities. He first spoke to the children about the wide variety of creatures who live in the pond, showing them photographs of each to help them identify the various types of beetles, bugs, nymphs and more. He then showed the pupils how to dip their long nets into the pond and drag it back and forth to see what they could catch. They squealed with excitement as they scooped up some wriggling creatures (some of them surprisingly large!) and put them in the tray for observation. 

After the day’s activities the happy children climbed back into the minibus to head back to school and tell their families all about their marvellous visit.