"Skjøtsel" (Maintenance of semi-natural grasslands) with school groups

Nature interpretation for pupils in Years 5 to 10. The pupils get to take part in "skjøtsel" with a guide from the Wetland Centre. This activity is adjusted to suit the needs of each age group. The description below is from "skjøtsel" with a Year 9 group from Torpa Primary School and with a Year 5 to 8 group from Thune School.

DNV have been working actively since 2011 to restore an area of mire previously cut annually for animal feed. These mire meadows are an extremely rare habitat type, both nationally and locally in the Land area. Bjørnhaugmyra is an area of great botanical importance, as well as being an important part of our cultural heritage. This mire is representative of the traditional utilisation of nature, the use of traditional tools, and stories and traditions connected to this way of life.


We have been arranging this teaching activity day for school groups at Bjørnhaugmyra for several years. The groups join the Wetland Centre on the mire and help to clear scrub and cut areas of the mire. The cut is performed using sickle bar mowers, rakes and pitchforks. This can be a hard day’s work, we walk around a kilometre to reach the mire, and there is lots of physical activity involved in maintaining the mire.

 

Thunemyra mire lies within Vestre Toten municipality, behind Thune School. In 2016 DNV resumed the "skjøtsel" of this mire, together with several classes from Thune School. The area is right next to, and easily accessible from, Fylkesvei 4. The easy accessibility of the mire makes it suitable for both younger and older pupils. We always eat lunch next to a campfire, and the pupils get to enjoy a fantastic day outdoors. The day pupils learn about the importance of this habitat type for species diversity and how it historically has been utilised. They also get to experience what it would have felt like to perform this traditional work. In addition to this the day is a great opportunity for pupils that thrive best outside of the classroom environment to experience a sense of accomplishment by completing these practical tasks. It’s a day during which demonstrates the importance of teamwork, and the pupils get to learn new skills, such as learning how to use the sickle bar mowers.


This teaching activity day is just as suited to the physical education curriculum as it is to the science curriculum, as it involves a lot manual work. We can always add in some teaching about the birds and specially adapted plants that are found in mires, such as orchids and wading birds, and why they are dependent on this habitat type. This activity day can be adjusted to suit the needs of each year group and school.

Skjøtsel of Bjørnhaugmyra with a school group. 

 

A well earned rest after all the hard work!