This weekend we were delighted to have Donald Malone of Wildside Nature hosting a Young Zoologists Day in Dreel Woods in Anstruther. Eighteen intrepid young people, aged between 5 and 13 joined us at Dreel Halls to start the day with some wildlife themed activities, including inspecting Donald's impressive collection of skulls. We then moved on to the woods to have a relaxing snack in hammocks before trying our hand at building a beaver dam.
Donald explained the history of beavers in Scotland, and talked about some of the successful beaver re-introduction projects he has worked on. He also described how beavers construct their dams and what they use them for. Then it was the kids turn to have a go. Collecting natural materials from the woods each team of children had to construct their own dam in a plastic tub. Once they were all completed the structural integrity of each dam was tested by pouring water in to one end of the tub and timing how long the dam held it back. All the dams performed impressively well, with the winning dam holding back the water until it was deep enough to flow over the top.
The final activity involved racing ducks down the Dreel Burn, and then it was back to Dreel Halls for everyone to collect a certificate. Well done to all our Young Zoologists!