Acorn Abundance

A new school year begins and 80 children begin their term at Forest School. At Fagley Primary, every child from Reception to Year 6 attend Forest School once a week for a term each year. Each class is divided into three groups. Ten children come to Forest School, ten children take part in food technology and ten children work of focused literacy or numeracy activities with their class teacher.¬†We aim to rotate the groups each year so that the children experience a different season at Forest School. The last time many of this term’s children were in the woods was winter time when the trees were bare. Walking into the woods, some of the children were struck by how dark it was with the heavy canopy of oak leaves above obscuring the sky. Oak is the dominant species in our woodland. Autumn is a time to look forward to an abundance of tree nuts from acorns to hazelnuts and beech nuts. Historically our woodland has not appeared to produce an abundance of acorns. Often the acorns we have found have been very small and malformed. This year however, we have found a proliferation of acorns. We pondered why this may be. Suggestions why this may be included:

  • The weather we have had has helped the acorns to grow
  • There have been less diseases or pests attacking the trees so the acorns have grown better
  • There have been less animals and birds eating the acorns
We usually find lots of galls produced by gall wasps on our oak trees, but this year there seems to have been less so perhaps this is contributing to better acorn growth.

The jays are making themselves known in the woods by their unmistakable screeching, so it would seem that there are still plenty of them feasting on the acorns in the wood. The children

have also spotted a number of squirrels busying themselves in the branches above us.

So perhaps it has just been a particularly good summer to promote acorn growth.
Whatever the reason, the children are having tremendous fun hunting out, comparing and decorating the acorns.
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