5B at Malham
Monday 18th July |
Apologies for the late blog – technical difficulties!
Our trip to Malham Cove started early. Slightly bleary-eyed but excited children were delighted to see Mrs Young join them and spent time discussing their hopes for the day. One such hope was decent weather. This was soon dashed by the lovely British Summer…
Still, the journey was good with the children in high spirits and playing games.
On arrival, we had to work! We got out our OS Maps and used a farmhouse to orientate ourselves before setting forth to see the source of the River Aire. It felt like quite an adventure traipsing forth to find the spring, through sheep laden fields, dodging sheep droppings.
It was quite interesting to see the spring, where the water just appeared from under ground and amazing to see how clear and clean in looked in relation to the river water we see in Leeds. We saw tributaries and confluences and felt quite smug when we knew all about them!
At this point, we split into two groups. One group (with Mr Cooke and Mr Wharton) went forth and ‘yomped’ (in the likeness of a soldier, marching over rough terrain with their kit bags) and the other group took it a little slower and sauntered their way along paths to the woodland containing Janet’s Foss.
To allow the children to really notice their surroundings, each child was asked to walk along the footpath alone (with 10 seconds between them) for a few minutes. This allowed them to really experience the sounds of the birds singing, the water babbling over the rocks and enjoy some real peace in the countryside.
We reached the waterfall together. The children’s descriptions were fantastic.
“The spectacular Janet’s Foss was breathtakingly beautiful because the water rushed over the rock and landed in a plunge pool of crystal clear water.”
The 10 minute walk from here through the gorge leading to Gordale Scar was endured under heavy rain. It was a little difficult to appreciate the limestone formations when under assault from the elements, but there were a few gasps of appreciation when we turned the corner and were faced with the waterfall itself.
Unfortunately the steep sides of the gorge don’t offer many places for shelter and our picnic lunch was very soggy as it left the safety of our bags. Some sandwiches fell apart before they even reached their intended mouths!
The cold and wet weather lead to a decision that only welly-clad feet could paddle at this point. The children were disappointed but it was too cold and slippery for everyone to clamber over rocks.
In formation, as one group, we headed over some smoother, more undulating hills until we came across the majestic Malham Cove. The Harry Potter fans were quite delighted to be standing on the rocks which appeared in the Deathly Hallows film, whereas others found the Clints (the blocks of limestone) and Grykes (the gaps) a little frightening and had to concentrate to overcome their concerns. As usual the children in 5B helped out their classmates and gave some wonderful encouragement to help out. I’m always so proud of how supportive they are!
The long, steep path down from the top of the cove was made up of steps (although we lost count as to how many) and we were lucky to see some Peregrine Falcons (which unfortunately 5 T didn’t get to see).
A short walk back to the mini buses and we dried off a little on the journey home. Spirits were still high but there were some very sleepy faces around!