Monday 20th November 2017: Going Underground – Life Beneath Our Feet

Wildlife Explorers started the evening with a photo quiz. They had to identify different textures in nature as animal, plant or fungi  – it was much more difficult than everyone expected. Older Wildlife Explorers and Phoenix also tried to decide which family of animals and plants the pictures showed. It was a real challenge but the children managed to get far more right than the Leaders!
Thanks to Phil Barnett for the brilliant photographs.

At the November Indoor meeting Wildlife Explorers learned about the wildlife right under our feet – in the soil, in burrows and tunnels and caves. Leader Martin explained the different characteristics that enable animals to live underground or in the soil. There are a huge range of adaptations from specially shaped hands for digging to an increased capacity of blood to carry oxygen.

Explorers watched a video that showed a concrete cast of a rabbit warren, illustrating the unbelievable extent and complexity of the underground system of burrows.

Martin also brought in his incredible pet ant colony. Everyone was able to watch the ants collect food and water, and even respond to defend their colony when one of the access tubes was opened. The group used a digital microscope to examine the ants’ behaviour in their tunnels – they are truly fascinating social insects.

Phoenix members learned about cave dwelling animals and how they are classified according to their level of adaptation to their environment.

Both sessions ended with a blindfolded worm foraging game based loosely on the way that moles locate their prey as they fall into their network of tunnels.

As this was the last meeting of the year the craft for the session was very seasonal. Everyone made a gorgeous pine cone Christmas decoration to take home and one for this year’s Wildlife Explorer Christmas Tree.

The Wildlife Explorer Christmas Tree was decorated on December 1st and will be on show at Tegg’s Nose Tea Room for the whole of December.

Santa approved of the decorations when he made a quick visit this morning.



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