Link To John Muir

A report from Class 4 on the day we went to Manesty Woods

A Day At Manesty Woods


When class 4 of St. Oswald's school went on their class residential, one activity we did was a trip to Manesty woods.
There were three groups throughout the week, each one with a different instructor. My instructor for my group was called John and John told us what we had to do that day. On the Wednesday we went to Manesty woods near Derwent water in the Lake District. Two groups canoed there and one went in a minibus my group was the one who went in the minibus. So the plan was two groups built a Canadian canoe and then paddle to Manesty woods and the other group would drive down to the wood and start to chop down the rhododendrons! Rhododendrons are not very good plants for our environment because the plants roots put acid into the soil which kills all the plants around them. We had to chop the rhododendrons down as well because each plant produces 1000 flowers and each flower produces 1000 seeds thats 1000000 seeds from each plant!
When the first group arrived at the wood we couldn't find any rhododendrons, but as John led us further into the woods we discovered a whole fortress of them it was a wonderland of green! After John had demonstrated how to use the Anvil and bypass loppers we where off to work! Not far into work we discovered that the bypass loppers were so much better than the anvil loppers and this caused a sort of collision. The girls realized before the boys and persuaded the boys to give them the bypass loppers and succeeded! But not long after the boys realized too that the bypass loppers were better and they made a bit of a fuss!! Soon we were all happy and started chopping!
We had to be careful of other peoples fingers because the blades on the loppers were sharp! And we had to be careful not to leave any rhododendrons lying on the floor because the roots could grown again and repeat the whole process again.
I personally enjoyed the day for the teamwork and happy atmosphere I hope we could do something similar again in school!
By Hannah
Two groups built Canadian canoes to paddle down to Manesty Woods while the other group went in the minibus. We all had an instructor. My instructor for the day was called Adam. The instructors went in a speed boat. When we got to Manesty Woods we had lunch. The woods were by a camp site so we had to be quiet but that didn't go as planned, because we were all shouting our heads off because it was fun. After lunch Ben and Hannah showed us how to use the bypass loppers and the anvil loppers. In the woods there was a load of rhododendrons. We cleared a lot of them because they put acid into the soil and it kills any other plants that are close. While we were cutting down the rhododendrons the other group was Canadian canoeing back to the centre and got to jump in the lake. Duncan's group canoed back to the centre and jumped in with the other group while my group stayed for another 15 minutes. Then we went back on the minibus and waited for the other groups to come back. Matthew didn't want to go back because he enjoyed it that much. It was one of the best days of school ever. When the two groups got back they were so cold they were red. But my group was warm.
By Ashley.
Everyone woke up early on Wednesday. Everyone’s tummy was bubbly with excitement [well, mine was!] When we knew for sure we were going to Manesty Woods, we all cheered and disappeared off to our rooms to get our things. When we all got back, we were sorted into our groups, told how we were getting there and went outside. “Bye bye!” we yelled as the blue minibus disappeared over the hill. We turned around and followed Duncan the instructor down the path to the life jacket store. We kitted everyone out with a life jacket, paddle and straps, then we gave out long pieces of rope and walked quickly down the slope, past the crocodile bench to the shore where the canoes were waiting. We strapped some planks on both sides of the eight canoes using the rope to create four rafts, two boats attached. We launched them and canoed for an age then at long last Duncan gave us a tow until we were nearly there. Then we paddled into the shore, pulled up the canoes and ran off to the woods. We met the others, had lunch and started to chop, whilst the others disappeared down to the shore. We made a huge pile of defeated rhododendrons and some of the boys were pulling up the old roots of the old rhododendrons that needed to be pulled up by hand. Most of us were really tired by now and it was quite near tea time so we were a bit hungry. Then Mr Humble told us that his group [my group] were canoeing back because the other group was smaller so they only needed two of the rafts so they left two behind. My group could canoe back which we were all very happy about that and we got another tow. When we got back we were allowed to go paddling in the lake and get sopping wet! We had loads of fun throughout the week but this was my favourite day.
By Holly
First one group went to Manesty woods in a minibus and the two other groups went in 8 canoes and canoed to Manesty woods. The people who went to Manesty woods in the minibus looked for some rhododendrons to cut down because the rhododendrons put an nasty acid into the soil that does not let the other plants grow. We asked if we could burn the rhododendrons but sadly the owners of the camp grounds would not let us burn them. So we went back to the minibus and got the equipment and our instructor explained what a bypass lopper and an anvil lopper was, then some of us put up a plastic sheet held up by two trees then we got to work chopping down rhododendrons. There were not enough for everyone so some people picked up the rhododendrons that the people who had the loppers had cut down and put them in a pile and we also we pulled out all the branches out of the ground and put big logs in one pile and little sticks in one pile then we had a little break and a snack.
Next we got back to work cutting the rhododendrons. Then the other two groups got to Manesty woods and the group that was in the mini bus stopped and we all had lunch. Then two people explained what an anvil lopper and a bypass lopper was,then the two groups that canoed stayed and chopped down the rhododendrons, the other group walked into the woods and to the canoes and canoed back with John our instructor in a speed boat so if you need a push he would give you one. We split up into two groups five in each canoe, there was only nine of us so Mr Douglas had the choice of being in a canoe or not, he chose to go in a canoe with four other children. The other group had ten pushes, and the one with Mr Douglas in had no pushes, John our instructor gave us all a tow near this island with lots of trees on it, we went and explored it. We found this long, dead tree lying on the ground. We all stood on it and then we all slid down. John taught us this game that we all hid and Mr Douglas shut his eyes and counted to ten, then he would open his eyes and stand still and look for us, then he would stand still and shut his eyes and count to five and you had to touch his hands when he was counting to win. Then we went and looked around the woods and we found some canoes and wondered who they belonged to. Then we found some people and the canoes belonged to them, so we carried on looking. Soon it was time to go back to the Hawes End Centre. When we got half way to the centre Ella dropped her paddle in the water, so we turned around and picked it up. When we got to the Hawse end centre John let us all get in the water and have a swim then one of the groups came back and we were all in the water. We all really enjoyed that day so much.
By Ben
First when we woke up we got dressed and went down to the lounge and then we got told we were going to Manesty woods. Then we went down to the cottage to get our life jackets. We went to the canoes and we carried them into the water and set off on our way to Manesty woods. When we got there we walked to the woods and then we started cutting down rhododendrons for the afternoon but we didn't just cut down rhododendrons we pulled up old roots and put them in a massive pile. The reason why we were cutting down rhododendrons is because they poison the trees and flowers around, the problem is that each bush makes one thousand flowers and each flower head has one 10000 seeds.
When we were on the way back we had a big walk back to the canoes, and then we got on the canoes and we went for a very long way on the everlasting lake (well it felt like everlasting to me). When we got back on land we had to take the canoes apart and put them back where they were kept. After that we went back up to the cottage we took our life jackets off and put them in the cottage and all the ropes and equipment. When we got back to the centre we went up to our rooms because we had a swim in the lake; we were freezing, so we got changed into warm clothes and went down to tea.
I really enjoyed canoeing because we all worked as a team and that is what I liked most about Hawes End.
By Joe