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15 June 16

Discovering a Secret World at Samphire Hoe

Youngsters from St Martin's School Dover were amazed to find a secret world hidden at the foot of the cliffs at Samphire Hoe. A mini beast safari and a hunt for the best countryside scents were on the bill, allowing the children to find a dazzling array of unexpected wildlife.

They were among the first to take advantage of a special programme of educational visits organised by the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and supported by Affinity Water. WCCP Officer Paul Holt says the diversity of coastal wildlife always fascinates youngsters.

He said: “As soon as we show them how to look closely and carefully they see a range of plants and creatures which they never imagined they could find. It’s a tremendous way to learn about our environment and to understand the importance of conservation work.”

Grasshoppers, bush crickets, hunting spiders, micro moths and many other mini beasts were all found by the children and catalogued and counted before being safely released back into the wild. They also tracked down the best scents of Samphire Hoe produced by a profusion of plants.

Affinity Water has a dedicated education centre at Bushey in Hertfordshire and is helping WCCP ensure that visits are linked directly to the National Curriculum. Education Services Manager Hannah Battram said the company was delighted to be able to support the scheme.

She said: “It’s an opportunity for schools to access a unique environment with expert guidance for children. Samphire Hoe also has first rate facilities for school groups with an all-new Education Shelter providing cloakroom facilities and a warm and dry area for lunches and group activities.”

It is hoped that more than 20 primary schools from Folkestone and Dover and surrounding areas will make visits to Samphire Hoe. Further information is available from WCCP on 01304 225649 and the contact email for the scheme is paul.holt@whitecliffscountryside.org.uk. For further details on Affinity Water see education.affinitywater.co.uk.

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