River & Habitat Studies
Arrive at Rushall Manor Farm (The education centre), off Back Lane SU583723. There is coach parking.
Typical river day timetables can be downloaded as PDF files. Meander studies depend on whether the school requests and also whether there is enough water in the Upper Pang at the meander site.
The students are split into groups of 15 led by a Rushall Farm guide and then taken to the River Pang on a tractor & trailer. The Pang is a tributary of the Thames and a typical lowland chalk stream. The farm guides demonstrate both river dipping using kick nets and also measuring techniques. The students then get into waders and carry out their own study, all the children will get the opportunity to measure and dip. The main measurements are the width of the river, a depth profile & measuring flow rate by floating an orange over a set distance. All equipment such as ranging poles, tape measures, meter rules etc is provided.
For measuring & dipping we generally use a site on the Lower Pang at Bradfield College (Risk Assessment Download) or Upper Pang at Pangfield (Risk Assessment Download). If a meander study is also required we can also take the students to a meander on a different part of the Upper Pang. In recent years any use of the Upper Pang has very much depended on river levels at any particular time.
The rest of the day comprises pond dipping (allowing comparisons between the fauna of the pond and river), a water based food chain game & sweep netting. In May, June & July if a school prefers it’s possible to see the bees in the observation hive rather than sweep net.