Beneath the muddy waters of the Essex coast lie an amazing range of marine animals.
This activity is run mostly as an option for our visiting primary schools in Key Stage 2, but can be available to other groups.
Most primary school children have had the opportunity to experience pond dipping and many would have enjoyed rock pooling. Dredging takes these activities a little further by enabling children to dredge animals and plants from the bottom of the sea.
Part of a session is spent on the launch in the estuary near Tollesbury collecting specimens from the sea bottom by dredging.
We have to take great care when dredging that we don’t disturb the sea-bed and that we don’t dredge oyster beds, which belong to a person or company. The oysters will have been reared and placed out on the river bed by the owner.
On return to the classroom, children are able to observe their catch at close quarters and discuss what they have found. The animals must be treated with care and when the ‘catch’ is finished with, it is very important that it is returned to the creek.