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Digging, barrow-building and the Peak District Award

I spent a lovely afternoon with pupils and teachers from FitzHerbert CE Primary School in Fenny Bentley yesterday.  I was there with two National Park Rangers, Steve Bell and Rose Clarke as part of a new scheme with which the school is involved – the Peak District Award.

To achieve this award the school is learning all about the special qualities of the National Park and as part of this will be improving their hay meadow and building a Bronze Age barrow in their school grounds – and that is where I come in.

Yesterday, I introduced the children to the Bronze Age in the Peak District and we had a good think about the many barrows that exist in this area.  The ideas the group had about why people were buried in barrows, often positioned in high places on top of hills and ridges, were inspired and inspiring.  They included such nuggets as: to enhance and add to the natural place; to be closer to God; and so that people would be able to see them from a distance.  They handled replica Bronze Age pots, barbed and tanged arrow heads and bronze tools and weapons.  The children were encouraged to think carefully about each item and to see if they could answer questions such as, what is it? what is it made of? and what does it tell us about the community in which the people who used the items lived?

After all this inquiry, we had just enough time to mark out the area that will be developed as a hay meadow and the place where the barrow is to built.

Next we will be carrying out an excavation in the school grounds, to make way for the new hay meadow, the soil from which will be used to build the barrow.

Watch this space to see how we get on!

If there are any schools out there in and beyond the National Park boundaries that are interested in the Peak District Award you can find out more about it here:


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