Pupils' flower interest stems from school trip

PUBLISHED: 13:37 05 April 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

Primary schoolchildren enjoyed a trip to Therfield Heath to learn about the pasque flower - a rare plant which only grows in two parts of the country. The pasque flower is a native wild plant with bell-like purple flowers surrounded by yellow anthers. H

Primary schoolchildren enjoyed a trip to Therfield Heath to learn about the pasque flower - a rare plant which only grows in two parts of the country.

The pasque flower is a native wild plant with bell-like purple flowers surrounded by yellow anthers.

Hertfordshire has 60,000 of these rare plants, and boasts the largest pasque flower colony in England.

Paul Thrush, reserves officer for Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust, taught the pupils of Therfield First School about the animals that live on the heath, and gave them information about the flower which forms their school emblem.

He said: "It is important to promote awareness of this habitat, and teach people how to protect it.

"It is great to have the children ask lots of questions, and it is a satisfying part of the job as you can inspire them, and highlight how lucky they are to be near Therfield Heath which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)."

Tim Banks of Year 4 said: "I like coming here to look at the flowers, and I enjoy walking along the track.

"We have been learning about the pasque flower in class, and we have also been drawing the birds that live on the heath."

Year 4 teacher Christine Taylor hopes the trip will encourage the pupils to bring their friends and families to see the pasque flower.

She said: "It is so important for the children to learn about the environment, especially what is on their doorstep."

The plant derives its name from the French word for Easter, 'pacques', as it blooms in April and May.

It thrives on short grass slopes where it is not in competition with other plants.

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