In Years Four, Five and Six, the children at Shipley are very lucky to be invited on a residential trip each year; in Year Five, that trip is to Halton Gill Bunk Barn in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, just outside Littondale.
From Monday 11th July to Wednesday 13th July, twenty seven children, Miss Hughes, Mrs Walker and Mrs Blake were whisked off by Lee, Mark, Sam and Donald- the wonderful Country Trust staff- who, for the most part, organise all of the activities over the three days.
At Gazegill, we were shown around the farm, learning about the animals and the methods used to ensure that everything produced is as natural and beneficial to the animals and environment as possible. This included allowing chickens to roam the farm, poly-tunnels to protect vegetable crops and maintaining an army of caterpillars and other insects. After the tour, we all went for lunch in a spare barn, and were treated to fresh, farm-made ice cream, made only of fresh cream and sugar.
After thanking everyone at Gazegill, we headed back to the minibuses to make our way to Bolton Abbey and i ts surrounding estate.
The Abbey is an estate in Wharfedale in North Yorkshire, and takes its name from the ruins of the 12th-century Augustinian monastery—now generally known as Bolton Priory, which was originally founded in 1154. The canons lived and worshipped at the Priory until 1539 when the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII stripped the estate of its assets.
Today, the Priory is a stunning ruin, set in the heart of a wonderfully managed estate. When we arrived, we were lead through a small archway in the surrounding wall, which revealed a beautiful view of the ruin. Mark was very knowledgeable about the Priory, and told us about the history of the Prior and Cannons who ran the establishment. We also learned about the surrounding land and how it was managed by the people who lived on it.
After exploring the Priory and its grounds, we set off for Halton Gill Bunk Barn! Once we had arrived and claimed our bunks, we had a wonderful meal of spaghetti bolognese and strawberry cheesecake. Once we had cleared up, we set off to explore the area, playing games along the walk as we learned about all of the different types of plants and their uses. When we reached the river bank, Mark showed us all how to create bazookas with bull rushes by splitting their stems and pulling them quickly through our fingers to release them.