LEaf School Based Day

18th May 2018

3rd and 4th class have been involved in the LEAF (Learning About Forests) initiative this year. As part of this project they paid a visit to Curraghchase Forest Park on April 13th. For more click here.

The second part of this project was a school based day on Friday, May 18th where Seán Hartigan taught us so many interesting things about our immediate environment.

In our classroom, we learned about the Mulkear River. We heard about some of the problems with the Mulkear- rubbish and invasive plants such as Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese knotweed.

Then we moved across the road from the school to examine our local stream which is a tributary of the Dead River to sample the water. Scientists take water samples from rivers to see how clean the water in the river is. They face their net downstream and kick and disturb the bottom of the river for one full minute. They examine the freshwater invertebrate (no backbone; insects, worms, leeches etc. that spend at least part of their lifecycle in freshwater (e.g. rivers, streams, ponds and lakes).) By looking at what is living in the river they can score how clean the water is. For example, if you find a freshwater crayfish, the water scores 10 as a freshwater crayfish would only be found in really clean water. In Oola, we found cased caddis larvae which gave our stream a score of 7.

We took samples of water in trays from the stream. Seán kick sampled the stream with a net and we examined the freshwater invertebrate. We had charts to help us figure out what we found.

We examined some plants we found growing on the edge of the stream.

We found vetch, cow parsley, herb Robert, charlock, buttercups, horsetail and stickybacks.

Then we went to the church grounds. We examined an ash tree and a hawthorn tree. We also discovered a rookery in the church grounds.