Year Three Trip to Treak Cliff Cavern near Castleton

As parents and children in Year Three know, our science topic this term has been about rocks and soils. Today the children and staff in Year Three have enjoyed a sunny, interesting and fun day out at the Treak Cliff Cavern near Castleton in Derbyshire. After a long but exciting journey we arrived at the coach drop off point. We had time to enjoy a drink and biscuit in the sunshine whilst exploring a nearby cave, looking at the valley views and walking to a nearby mill stone before we set off for the short climb up to Treak Cliff Cavern, which lies within a hill of carboniferous Limestone. After dropping off our bags we were taken straight into the cavern by our guide for the day, Luke, who informed us that the main mineral mined in the cavern was Blue John. (If you see anyone from Year Three please ask them if they remember why the mineral was called Blue John.) We saw river sediments containing many fossils which formed a layer within the stone and was easy to spot. We also saw the infamous Blue John minerals which is the main mineral mined here. Luke told us that the mineral is only mined within two sites within this area which is why the mineral is rare and expensive. He took us into several caverns, one of which was decorated with flowstone formed from a film of water flowing down the sides of the caverns, the flowstone was a yellowish colour and was very damp. Another cavern contained a wonderful display of stalagmites and stalactites and we also found out about helictites (please feel free to ask a Year Three child if they remember what these are!)

DSC_0383

DSC_0415

After a lovely packed lunch we visited the gift shop and the children brought back some interesting items to remind them, or their family, of their trip. The walk back to the bus took about an hour and was fascinating; after a massive landslide many years ago a large part of the hillside had fallen into the valley. As we walked along the broken and crumbled road we noticed that there were twists and gaps in the road and in parts the road had actually fallen away. We arrived back at the coach and had a much quieter trip home, with a few children falling asleep and a few teachers eager to get back for a lovely cup of tea! Many thanks to Ms Hart and Mrs Davies for organising such a lovely trip and to Mrs Finney who gave up her time as a volunteer to come on this trip not to forget our wonderful TA’s, Mrs Wason and me!! …. but most importantly, thank you to our Year Three children who were a pleasure to look after and were very well behaved.

DSC_0453

DSC_0472

By Emma Hart. Year 3 TA