Dalry High School John Muir Award Students had a chilly but enjoyable foray into the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere in January, with two workshops organised by the Biosphere Explorers Project Officer.
The first took the children to the Red Kite Feeding Station at Bellymack Farm, Laurieston to learn about the successful reintroduction of Red Kites to Scotland by the RSPB and other conservation groups. During the visit, 130 Red Kites arrived to be fed, which provided an amazing spectacle for the students, who, although used to seeing Red Kites around Dalry, had never seen so many in one place before.
The following week (after more snow!), local storyteller Tony Bonning came to the school to take the students round the village and tell them some of the many myths and legends associated with Dalry. The students were especially surprised by the climb up ‘the Motte’ beside the Town Hall. There they were told the Story of the White Wyrm, said to live there, terrorising Dalry residents, until an enterprising blacksmith designed a suit of armour spring-loaded with daggers. He donned the suit and set out to be deliberately eaten by the Wyrm. He then destroyed the Wyrm from the inside and was from then on a local hero. The children weren’t sure whether they believed this story, but they certainly enjoyed hearing it!
Stories are an excellent way of making our local history come alive and giving the students a rich sense of the place that they live in. Thanks to Bellymack Farm and Tony Bonning for providing such great experiences for the students.