The Burn is a small river or large stream! It varies greatly in flow according to
the recent weather conditions. After rain it can be torrential and the banks clearly
show the erosive effect of this powerful flow. Children can observe how the bank
is being eroded in one place whilst sand and gravel is being deposited in others.
Where the effect of this erosion is greatest, the banks have been reinforced by walls,
rock-armour or gabions - rock filled cages. Photographs of the great flood of June
2006 show the devastation that fast-flowing water can produce and children can compare
these photographs with the repair and reinforcement work which has been carried out
since and discuss its efficacy and visual impact.
The Burn can be traced from near its source beside the Roman Wall to its confluence
with the South Tyne and children can observe the changing character of the stream.
The force of the water of the Burn has been harnessed for hundreds of years to provide
the motive power for corn and woollen mills, the earliest in Roman times.
One of the old mill buildings can still be seen and the remains of two others can
be found. Photographs of the mills when still
occupied and maps from 1860 are available to help children locate the “vanished mills”.
One of the mill races can still be traced running along the bank and this clearly
shows how water had to be brought from further upstream to provide a head of water
sufficient to power the wooden mill wheels.
Stream dipping can also be arranged during the dry summer months.
Plants and animals in their environment
Also links with energy production/hydo-power/ green issues
Fieldtrip with leader and use of Woodland Classroom.