Mayfield CE Primary School children enjoyed a school ‘welly walk’ two weeks ago.
Following a themed assembly, the whole school, armed with their new Welly Walk leaflet, explored the two-mile route which started and ended at the school gate and used countryside footpaths.
The Welly Walk enables the school to run outdoor education activities and explore the protected landscape in which it is located - the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Special features of the area on the school’s doorstep include small, wildlife-rich fields; steep-sided streams (or ghylls) and Banky Wood, an ancient woodland which in the Tudor period was the location of an important iron furnace. A cannon from the Banky Wood ironworks can be found at the top of Mayfield High Street.
Welly Walks for children are an initiative developed by the High Weald Partnership whose High Weald Education Officer worked with Mayfield CEP school’s year three and four class to develop the route.
Through both indoor and outdoor sessions children can learn how to use maps to plan and navigate local footpaths and discover much more about their countryside environment in greater depth.
The walk is the latest in a series of school Welly Walks developed by the High Weald Partnership working with the primary schools in Wealden and beyond. There are now 50 High Weald Welly Walks across Kent, Sussex and Surrey, many of which are used by schools on a regular basis.
The High Weald AONB is a historic countryside of rolling hills, small irregular fields, abundant woods and hedges, scattered farmsteads and sunken lanes. It covers parts of four counties – East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey, in the rural heart of South East England.
It was designated an AONB by the Government in 1983 to conserve and enhance its natural beauty.
The High Weald Partnership employs a dedicated team to further understanding of the area’s special qualities and enables action to conserve them. It is supported by 15 local authorities and Defra.
You can find out more at: www.highweald.org