The unseasonably cold weather did nothing to dispel the excitement of years 1 & 2 from Ysgol Caer Drewyn as they piled out of their minibuses excited to spend the next few hours in the forest with our red squirrel ranger and volunteers from Clocaenog Red Squirrel Trust rather than the classroom.

We started with a caching game, where pupils hid three hazelnuts each and tried to commit the location of the hazelnuts to memory just like a red squirrel.

Once we had hidden our hazelnuts, we set off on our red squirrel scavenger trail hunt. The pupils found everything on their scavenger hunt sheet apart from acorns (which is understandable as it is the wrong time of year for acorns). As well as finding the items on our scavenger hunt sheet we enjoyed learning about different textures, including how moss feels soft but lichen feels rubbery and how pine cones are hard and spruce cones are soft.

Once we had finished our walk we tried to find our hazelnuts. Quite a few pupils found all three, but some only two, some one and some none! This reflects real life, as red squirrels will often forget where they hide nuts they have cached. In this way, the red squirrels have planted trees and this helps new forests to grow. This is called being an ecosystem engineer.

If you would like a copy of our scavenger hunt sheet to help you explore Clocaenog or would like for your school to visit Clocaenog to spend a morning with our red squirrel ranger please get in contact