HOWL – Updates From The Field

October marks the end of the HOWL season at Alladale Wilderness Reserve for 2017.

October marks the end of the HOWL season at Alladale Wilderness Reserve for 2017.

Highland Outdoor & Wilderness Learning (HOWL) is a programme which offers a specially designed and expert-led environmental journey for school children across the UK.

Everything you need to have an adventure! 

– S3 student

Achievements of the 2017 HOWL Programme at Alladale:

– Nearly 100 secondary school pupils attended from 5 schools.

– Around 750 seedlings of dwarf birch and 250 aspen were planted by the pupils.

– The pupils learnt bushcraft and survival skills, from shelter building and fire lighting to animal tracking and plant identification.

– 16 vegetation survey quadrat plots were setup by the pupils, to record baseline data on percentages of typical vegetation found on the reserve e.g. feather mosses, sphagnum mosses, bog asphodel, heather (ling and bell), bare ground and standing water.

– The pupils recorded 18 peat bog plots for their depth. A total of 180 separate depth measurements were recorded across the areas. The deepest record was 2.4 meters deep approximately 2400 years old.

As they moved through the Glen the pupils identified (with staff assistance) and recorded the wildlife they saw.

– STUDENTS MEASURING PEAT BOGS WITH THE HOWL TEAM

Animals recorded on site included eagle, barn owl, palmate newt, adder, red deer, badger, fox, short tailed vole, red squirrel, pine marten and, of course, midges!

HOWL had a very high approval rating from the students who attended, with 90% of pupils responding that all aspects were good or very good. The majority of pupils had enjoyed the experience and their time at Alladale with the HOWL team.

The programme had not only given them an insight into the wildlife and ecology at Alladale but they had learnt a number of new practical skills. In addition to the basic objectives of the programme, some of the pupils highlighted the importance of social and personal skills they felt that they had gained from participating in the HOWL programme.

The importance of children experiencing and enjoying the wild is essential both for them and the planet – especially today. Alladale is the perfect place to do just that.

Ben Fogle

HOWL is always looking for help and support to continue the great work it does, to find out how you can help, get in touch!