Year 4 donned high visibility vests and hard hats to take a tour of Dowlow Quarry near Buxton last week, as part of their project on Bakewell and the surrounding area.
The children wrote letters to the quarry manager, asking about the environmental impact of the quarry, and they were keen to hear his responses to their comments and questions before setting out on their own visit.
Luckily, the rain held off and, after a safety talk about the dangers of quarries, the children were able to see the whole process of quarrying from the initial blasting of the rock face (which was very exciting), to crushing the rocks and then sieving the resulting rocks into different grade materials and sending them along various conveyor belts. They got to climb on a 50 tonne loading shovel whose wheels cost approximately £10,000 each.
The quarry manager explained how explosives are used to blast the rock face and how the explosives are dropped down holes drilled in the rock. Everyone was totally enthralled and amazed to find out that limestone dust is found in everyday products such as toothpaste, bread, medicines and flour.
The children had a fabulous, informative and fun morning and were rewarded for their fantastic behaviour and interesting questions by a picnic lunch and an ice cream at Parsley Hay.
As part of their project, Year 4 will be creating a leaflet for children about the local area and different land uses, which will be displayed in a café in Bakewell.