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Englefield Countryside Day by Tess (Year 4)

                     COUNTRYSIDE DAY


On the 16th June, Years 3/4 went to Countryside Day at Englefield Estate. We did lots of activities including a really interesting talk about birds of prey and another really good one about the history of Englefield House.

The first activity was health and wellbeing. The lady taught us to sharpen our senses by looking around us at the flowers and plants in the Englefield gardens. We also had to pretend that we had a sour lemon in our hands and that the sticky juice was trickling down our arms. Then we had to pretend that we were eating it. We all made really funny faces because the lemon was so sour!!!!

After that, we went to the birds of prey talk. The man had two types of birds of prey; a kestrel and red kite. He also told us lots of interesting facts about the birds such as:

  • female red kites are bigger than the males.
  •  kestrels are a type of hawk.
  • birds of prey live longer in captivity than in the wild.

 He also showed us the red kites wings and the blood vessels at the back of the male kite’s mouth.

Then we went to learn about trees and timber at another talk. We had to measure the tallest tree in Englefield gardens using sticks. We also measured the circumference of the tree by hugging it. They also told us an interesting fact; the oldest tree in the world is General Sherman and it’s 2,200 years’ old! They gave us wood cookies and we had to count the rings to find out how old they were.

Then we went to the community angling talk to learn about fishing. We labelled the different parts of a trout and looked at some crayfish. We also had to decide whether some fish facts were true or false and stick them onto a chart. After that, we went back to school for lunch.

 After lunch, we went to another stall to learn about little water creatures that live in our local rivers. We used magnifying glasses to identify them. We then ticked them off on a tick sheet. They then told us the names of the mini beasts that we had found in the plastic trays.

The next talk we listened to was one about soil. We had to stamp on the ground with our feet to see if we could bring up any worms.  We also planted some saplings in three pots. When they are big enough we are going to plant them in our school grounds.

 The last thing that we did was to go inside Englefield house and learn some history. We went in the library, the drawing room, and the dining room; we also went down a very, long staircase to a massive bell. The lady showing us around rang it and she said that it was SO loud you could hear it in any part of the house!!!! We were allowed to sit down on the chairs, armchairs and the sofas. The lady told us some interesting facts:

  • that the books in the library were in 5 different languages!
  • a famous painter was once asked by the owner of Englefield Estate a long time ago to paint a picture of Englefield house. The painter painted cows in front of Englefield House. The man who owned Englefield House said that he lived in a deer park, not a farmyard!! He told the painter to paint out the cows and replace them with deer. So the painter did but very faintly. If you look at the painting it looks like the deer are ghost cows with antlers!!!!

She also showed us the amazing dining room with paintings that looks like one person is going from one to another.  In the great hall there was a MASSIVE, sparkly chandelier.

Everybody in 3/4 really enjoyed Countryside Day. It was good of the people who own Englefield Estate to give up their time.