Nature Walk in Epping Forest

On Tuesday 13th July, sixty Year 8 students set off on a ‘Nature Writing’ expedition to Epping Forest. Undeterred by the torrential downpours of the previous evening, undaunted by the punishing hills of Belle Vue Road, unperturbed by the prospects of mud, bugs or their English teachers’ navigation skills, the groups entered the forest with enthusiasm and courage.

After taking some time to pause and notice the differences between the world outside and inside the forest, students went on a walk to see what they could discover when they took a moment to look carefully at the natural world. As well as identifying various trees and plants – including alder, oak, hawthorn and beech trees – students found ‘tiny treasures’ in the forest, including ‘something shiny’, ‘something yellow’, ‘a feather’ and ‘something from a book or a poem’. While ‘a decomposing rat’ wasn’t technically on the list for the scavenger hunt, it was a very popular discovery amongst our students (and the local crow population).

Treasures successfully hunted, students were invited to share their findings with their partners and enjoy some time to sit quietly and do some creative writing.

 

Here are some excerpts:

 

Come this way.’ I followed behind the holly. I brushed my pale fingers on the sharp leaf, when burgundy blood sprouted out from my finger. I sucked it in my mouth, attempting to heal the excruciating pain, when she called out to me. Not knowing what to do, I followed on behind her. When my teacher called me, I was confused. I asked myself: how could she not see her? ‘Come on Marwa!’ my teacher yelled out to me from the distance. Filled with curiosity, I followed behind her, but as I looked up, she disappeared into thin air. Suddenly, thousands of questions bounced into my head. The smell of suspicion and damp forest air lingered around me. Where did she go? – Marwa

 

As the fields overtake

and my mind

sets free and I

gasp in the fresh

scenery, the

birds tweet sweet

melodies into my 

ear 

– Leah

 

The trees whispered. They whispered their truth. They whispered how they help mankind flow. They help make up a table to place our food on. They help us go to the land of slumber. Trees are our safety. They are our friends. They hold our fruit. They hold the secrets of the forest. The secrets of our world. They hear all of us. – Evie

 

After the calm solitude of our writing time, we upped the energy for the afternoon with some games. The sun even came out! When we returned to school that afternoon, we were full of the energising power of the great outdoors (and very desperate for the toilet).

Special mentions must go to Evie for her fantastically helpful walking tour and nature facts, as well as Matthew for carrying our games equipment up the hills and Yousef for amazing organisation of capture the flag! And, of course, to Mrs Saliah, Ms Nicou and Ms Kyriakou for their support on the day – and Mr Hussain for the emergency water delivery.

 

Ms Kibbler- 2nd In Charge English