Cymraeg

Standing on what felt like the top of the world and slowly regaining our breaths back, they were soon taken away again when looking at the awe inspiring landscape of Whiteford Sands in Swansea Bay.

Swansea Museum is working on a project called ‘The Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay’, which is funded by the help of the ‘Saving Treasures; Telling Stories’ project. Saving Treasures is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which is acquiring archaeological objects for local and national collections, providing training for heritage professionals and volunteers and engaging local communities with their pasts.

Last week the museum teamed up with young people from Swansea YMCA, The National Trust and The Glamorgan Gwent Archaeology Trust to hike around Whiteford Sands in the Gower area of Swansea Bay. This walk was intended to give us an understanding of the changing landscape of Swansea Bay since the Bronze Age.

The images shows a variety of people at the bottom of a hill in a woodland area; they are about to go on a long walk.

Young people from Swansea YMCA, The National Trust and The Glamorgan Gwent Archaeology Trust members are gearing up for a hike in the Whiteford sands area in Swansea.

The Landscape

Corinne Benbow is a National Trust Ranger and she led the first half of the walk up a very steep hill in order to get the best viewpoints overlooking the beach and woodland areas.

Corinne explained that what we could see was quite unspoiled, she said: “You’re looking at quite an ancient landscape and it wouldn’t have changed that much since the Bronze Age.”

Pointing over towards the coastline, Corinne spoke about how the landscape has slightly changed over the years.

This piece of land is actually brand new and doesn’t belong to anyone as it has only appeared over the last twenty-five years; that’s because of the sand being washed in and building up. The new dunes get washed away and are then re-built back up; so it’s always shifting, but is basically the same as it’s been for thousands of years.”

This is a picture fromon top of a hill. You can see the beach, the sea and a woodland area.

The view of the Bay from above

Hidden Secrets

After a lunch break and water painting session of the landscape, we continued our walks through the woods, over the sand dunes and onto the pebbly beach. It was here where Paul Huckfield, an archaeologist from the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeology Trust, revealed some hidden treasures found on the beach.

Paul said: “We are currently stood on a prehistoric ground surface which was originally a forest. This dates back to the late Mesolithic, early Neolithic age at around 5000-4000 BC. As you can see the remains of the trees around you are still here.”

At a first glance you would assume the trees were drift wood washed ashore, but they were in fact, alder trees almost 7000 years old. Paul explained how the landscape which is currently a sandy beach area would have actually been a woodland area similar to the one we walked through. 

Why were they a secret?

Nobody knew these 7000 year old trees even existed until they were found between 2010- 2012 when the beach lost some of its sand and the trees came to light.

The images shows a beach on a spring day. It is a rocky beach which dates back to the mesolithic era.

Standing on Prehistoric ground surface.

The Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project is a partnership project between Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales (The FED) and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) promoting the portable archaeological heritage of Wales through acquiring finds made by the public. The project secured Heritage Lottery Grant funding in October 2014 through the Collecting Cultures programme and runs for five years.

It will help Swansea Museum to acquire and safeguard items of portable heritage with special significance to Swansea Bay for the people of Swansea. It will also enable the museum to work with local communities to engage with and explore these treasures and to find out more about Swansea Bay

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Thank you to all schools who have already entered their flower data! Remember to make sure the dates entered are correct and that the height has been entered in millimetres! We have had a few flowers reported for April and lots of very short crocus and daffodils!

If you spot that your entries need amending, just re-enter them to the website with a comment to explain that the new entry is to replace a previous one.

I have enjoyed reading the comments that have been sent with the weather and flower data over the last fortnight! I’ve attached some of these below. An interesting question was raised by Stanford in the Vale Primary, who asked whether they need to enter multiple flower records if the height and flowering date are the same in each? It is still important to enter this flower data, as the number of flowers at a particular height and particular date will impact on the overall averages for the project.

To work out your schools average/mean flowering height for the crocus and daffodil, add all of your crocus or daffodil heights together and divide by the number of entries for that flower.

If you have one flower at 200mm and one at 350mm the mean would be 275mm. If you have one flower at 200mm and ten flowers at 350mm your mean flower height would be 341mm. This is why it is important that you enter all of your flower records.

Every flower record is important and impacts on the overall results. If your plant hasn’t grown by 31st March, please send in a flower record without a date or height and explain this in the comment section. If your plant has grown but hasn’t produced a flower by 31st March please enter the height without a date and explain this in the comments section.

Keep the questions coming Bulb Buddies! There are resources and activities on the website to help you. Once your plant has flowered, why not draw it and label the different parts of the plant? I would love to see photos of your drawings and will post any that are sent in on my next Blog!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Professor Plant

 

Your comments:

We’ve had lots of lovely comments about your plants, sent in with both weather and flower data:

Ysgol Y Wern: Mae'r bylbiau i gyd wedi egnio ac mae sawl blodyn crocws i'w weld!! Mae'r bylbiau ddirgel yn edrych yn diddorol iawn gyda streipiau ar y ddail!

Ysgol Pennant: Mi roedd yn hwyl iawn i tyfu crocws a i weld o.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: 17 daffodils have all flowered on the same day! Do we still have to enter individual flowers? They all measure the same height! Regards R.

Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale, I’ve answered your question in detail above as it was the star comment this week! It’s a very good question, but all of the individual flower records are important and can help us to create a bigger picture of the results! I have a special task for you this week, why not work out your school’s average flowering date for this year and last year, and let me know whether your plants flowered earlier or later on average this year! There’s a fun game on BBC Bitesize to help you with Mode, Median, Mean and Range! http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/maths/data/mode_median_mean_range/play/

St Robert's R.C Primary School: I am so glad my bulb has flowered.

St Mary's Primary School: Our first crocus flower has opened. We are all really excited.

Ellel St John's CE Primary School: They've grown quite quickly and are just opening.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: We will send photographs later today. The crocus have a beautiful radiant deep purple colour.

Rougemont Junior School: Our Crocus are flowering and our Daffodils are growing well. We hope it will be sunny tomorrow. I think we are in luck!!!

Tonyrefail Primary School: Hi Professor Plant most of our plants have grown. We are measuring them. Nine of are crocuses have flowered.

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: We had a couple of frosty mornings this week but our crocus plants are still flowering and all our daffodils have buds on them now.

Beulah School: A lot of crocuses have flowered but none of the daffodils have yet.

Boston West Academy: 2 daffodils have grown

Ysgol Deganwy: all of the plants came out the soil yay!

Rougemont Junior School: our crocus is growing well but needs sunshine and warmth to open its flowers.

Barmston Village Primary School: The bulbs are starting to grow!

Loch Primary School: The plants have grown quite a lot!

Ysgol Deganwy: All of the bulbs have come up from the soil.

Broad Haven Primary School: Our daffodils and crocus now have leaves but no flowers yet.

Loch Primary School: We are happy to see our plants growing!

Tonyrefail Primary School: Our Crocuses have also started to grow.

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: We were back into school on Tuesday. We had a surprise as J's crocus had blossomed and a lot of us have noticed our plants have grown buds so we are all on stand-by to record our blooms too. Storm Doris came on Thursday so we didn't catch all the rain as most of it was sideways! Luckily none of our bulb pots were blown over.

Professor Plant: Fantastic Bulb Buddies, I'm glad to hear you are watching your plants so carefully! Don't worry about sideways rain as the rain gauge is designed to collect a sample of rainfall. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

We’ve had lots of insightful comments about the weather, and many of you commented on storm Doris. More information on storm Doris can be found here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/barometer/uk-storm-centre/storm-doris

St Robert's R.C Primary School: Storm Doris wedi chwythu y brigau oddiar y coed ar dydd iau.

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Yn wlyb iawn ar Dydd Llyn ond wedyn yn mynd yn sych.

Ysgol Y Wern: Oer iawn, iawn wythnos yma. Wedi bwrw eira ar ddydd Gwener.

Carnbroe Primary School: We had lots of rain on Tuesday and we were slipping about the garden while we were checking on our plants. Still no flowering yet. Nearly everyone's bulb has begun to show shoots. C's bulb has not come through the soil yet.

Professor Plant: Ooo be careful if the ground is slippery Bulb Buddies! I hope C’s plants grow, but if they haven’t grown by 31st March please let me know by entering a flower record but leaving the date and height blank. It’s as important to record this as it is flower records!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, this week has been quite chilly and on Monday it was icy. It has been rainy to. Bye Bye.

Rougemont Junior School: It's going well. Hopefully it will be sunny tomorrow.

Arkholme CE Primary School: This week the Temperature has gone down quite a bit on Thursday. And there was not a lot of rain on Friday and Wednesday are bulbs are starting to grow so we are quite pleased. Thank you very much.

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: It’s been getting colder this week but our bulbs are still growing.

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has been quite consistent over the week. There has been a drop in the amount of rainfall this week.

Henllys CIW Primary: It has been snowy a little bit this morning.

Staining C of E Primary School: There has not been much rain during the second part of the week. It has been a bit warmer as well. There was some rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Arkholme CE Primary School: This week was a very dull and wet week. There was a little bit of growth from the bulbs that we planted. It was also a very cold week on Friday the sun came out and the temperature rised. Best wishes.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, On monday it was teacher training day so we couldn't record it. But this week it has been hot and cold. On Thursday we had storm Doris so it was very cold. Bye,bye.

Ysgol Rhostyllen: This is fun.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: I liked doing the temperature because it was fun.

Broad Haven Primary School: Yr 5 are in LLangrannog this week so we are recording the weather. Rain and gales at the end of the week.

Professor Plant: Thank you for filling in Bulb Buddies, I hope you enjoyed the project! Good work.

 

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and The Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project have teamed up with the University of South Wales and students on the journalism course.

Working in the Archaeology and Communications departments, using their media and journalistic knowledge, the students will be bringing to life significant archaeological discoveries and telling the stories behind the items and the people who found them. There will be a series of two week work placements from a variety of students.

Here’s what our most recent students had to say about their time working on Saving Treasures; Telling Stories:

Our experience working on Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project

Coming from a journalism background we were anticipating our placement with the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories project and had a lot of questions of what to expect.

What is Archaeology?

What do Archaeologists do?

And what is the Saving Treasures Project?

On our first day Rhianydd, Mark, Adam and the rest of the team were more than welcoming which is always reassuring when on a work placement. They spent the day showing us some mesmerising objects found during archaeological excavations or by metal detectorists and then teaching us everything we needed to know (which wasn’t easy as there are a lot to remember!) It was fascinating for us to begin to understand objects dating back thousands of years ago and their significance to our lives at present.

Here is where the fun started.

What we did

The rest of our first week we travelled around South Wales to places such as Swansea and Brecon to start recording our interviews about some of the most recently discovered objects.

It was a gloomy and rainy Tuesday but nevertheless we travelled to Brecon to meet with Nigel Blackamore and the team at Brecknock Museum (they even gave us biscuits!) who let us spend the day interviewing in their library.

We interviewed a local metal detectorist as well as a married couple who, over forty years ago, found a dagger in Swansea Bay and have kept it ever since for good luck and as a symbol of their relationship. An earlier blog about the Swansea Bay dagger can be found here.

We also spoke to Nigel about the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the future of museums; as a journalist it’s all about telling stories and getting important information to the public.

Roqib also had the chance of fulfilling a lifetime dream of holding a metal detector. (He was really excited).

A man is holding a metal detector in a court yard with a smile on his face

Our student journalist, Roqib, is happy to give metal detecting a go.

Putting our journalism skills to work

On the Wednesday we went to Swansea Museum to meet with Emma Williams and Phil Treseder about Swansea’s involvement with the Saving Treasures Project and what their aims are for the future of Swansea Museum. We also interviewed collector Geoff Archer, who recently found a very rare Bronze Age mould for making axe heads.

To spend the week interviewing people who are so passionate about preserving the archaeology and heritage of South Wales for future generations, in whatever form they can, was an honour and a privilege and certainly put our journalistic interview techniques to the test.

Over the following week we were able to edit the interviews and write our articles with the overlooking expertise of Catrin Taylor and the Communications department; again linking in our journalism skills to help tell the stories of the people and objects.

A thank you from us

We’ve had a wonderful and insightful two weeks and we’ve met some incredible people during this time. The support we’ve received to create the best possible content has been outstanding and we now know what archaeology is, what an archaeologist does and what the Saving Treasures Project is!

We can’t wait to continue to work closely with the Saving Treasures, Telling Stories project and follow its success until 2019. Thank you to everyone who we have met and worked with!

@A_Dickinson_

@MonsurMedia

Hi Bulb buddies,

I hope you had a lovely half term. We’ve had our first flower records in! Spring is really on the way now, with flowers in bloom! Please send in photos of your plants, your weather stations and any signs of spring!

I want to let you know about new teaching resources being launched through People’s Collection Wales. Peoples Collection Wales is a project and website funded by the Welsh Government and run in partnership between National Museum Wales, The National Library and The Royal Commission. The website is a platform for documenting the history of Wales and Welsh people. The site is a public resource, to which anyone can contribute, resulting in new items and previously unheard stories being shared for the first time.

The new Learn pages cater for teachers, providing clear guidelines on how to utilise the website to support the emerging Digital Competence Framework (DCF). There are help pages offering additional support around copyright, metadata and DCF. There are numerous ready-to-go teaching packs focussed on subjects that support the Welsh Curriculum. The extensive materials available for research enable different levels of engagement with the site, and the variety of media utilised ensures the content is varied and engaging.

Contributors to the site vary from Museums and National archives uploading their digitised collections, to individuals uploading their family histories and schools sharing projects they have produced in class.

The website itself is a fantastic resource for schools, and has been utilised to support of a variety of class projects. Here are some ideas on how your class could develop digital skills through utilising this site:

  • Use the site to research topics such as local history or famous Welsh people.
  • Create a profile so that your class can showcase their work by creating favourite lists and uploading items to create collections, stories and trails.
  • Upload your own teaching resources or learning plans to make the material available to others.
  • Explore the learn pages for innovative and engaging teaching resources that utilise the online material.
  • Check in to see what other schools have produced and be inspired.

Read our guidelines for approaching the Digital Competency Framework, and how engagement in the above activities meets this criteria.

Be inventive, there are a wealth of innovative ways to embrace digital media in the classroom. Let your class take the lead and put the material available on Peoples Collection Wales through its paces. There’s so much opportunity to be creative, and we’re excited to see what you come up with!

Training and support is available, please contact a member of the team if you’d like additional support or would like to suggest a collaborative project with Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales.

Llanharan Primary, who have participated in the Spring Bulbs for Schools Project since 2014, have produced a fantastic audio trail of their local area: https://www.peoplescollection.wales/collections/384915

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Professor Plant

 

Hello Bulb Buddies,

An exciting number of schools have reported that their Daffodil and Crocus plants are growing. Some schools have noted that their plants look close to flowering. With that in mind it is a good time to discuss the next part of the project –  flower records! There is a resource on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website entitled ‘keeping flower records’. This document tells you how to keep flower records, the equipment you must use and the methods for collecting information.

The resource pack sent to your school in October contained a Crocus flowering chart and a Daffodil flowering chart. You can use these to record the dates that your flowers open and the height of your plants on these dates. You can then enter your flowering date and the height of your plant on this date to the National Museum Wales website. Once the first flowering date has been entered for your school, a flower will appear on the map on the Museum website to show where your school is!

Last year some schools were confused and entered the height of their flowers weekly. You can monitor how tall your plants are growing each week and let me know in the ‘comments’ section when you enter your weekly weather records. But, the ‘flowering date’ and the height of your plant on the day it flowers are to be entered on the NMW website only once the flower has opened. 

Look at the picture of Daffodils at St Fagans National History Museum. This picture was taken on a cold day, so the flowers haven’t fully opened. But you can still tell which ones have flowered by looking closely at the picture. If you can clearly see all of the petals then your plant has flowered. Before flowering the petals are held tight in a protective casing. 

The picture to the right shows a flower bud. Once the flower has matured inside the bud (and the weather is warm enough) the casing will begin to open. This can take a few hours or a few days! If you watch your plants carefully you might see this happening! Once you can see all of your petals and the casing isn’t restricting them at all you can measure the flowers height and enter your findings on the website.

Have you compared the heights of the flowers in your class? Are there big differences in the size and maturity of the plants, or are they all very similar? What about the plants planted in the ground? Are these any bigger than the ones in your plant pots? Why do you think this is? You can let me know your thoughts in the ‘comments’ section when you enter your weekly weather records!

Once the bulbs start to grow send your stories and pictures to our bulb-blog and follow Professor Plant on Twitter

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

Thank you for updating me on how your plants are doing Bulb Buddies:

Ysgol Deganwy: Most of the plants have started to grow.

Henllys CIW Primary: About all the bulbs have sprouted.

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Dim glaw. Braf efo awyr goch bob nos a bob bore! Deilen 3 Cenin wedi dod i'r golwg yn y potiau. Wedi bod yn gynnes a phawb yn chwarae "British Buldogs" bob dydd heb gotiau!

Carnbroe Primary School: The week started off really cold and frosty but as the week went on the temperature rose and we had some rain. More shoots are beginning to bud. We are hoping that our bulbs will flower soon.

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been wet and mild this week, and most of the bulbs have sprouted already. The crocus bulbs and daffodils have sprouted as well as the ones in the pots, and the ones in the ground have grown the quickest as well. Best wishes E and A.

Trellech Primary School: We have noticed that our bulbs have started to appear above the soil. We think it is because it has been a lot milder this week.

Trellech Primary School: We really enjoyed collecting the data.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: I can't believe it is nearly over. We are enjoying it.

Auchenlodment Primary School: We have started to measure the shoots and are excited to see how they grow. 2 of the mystery bulbs have just started to sprout. No sign of the daffodils we planted in the ground.

Boston West Academy: This week we only have two more to start sprouting; it’s also been very cold and hot but also very wet. One of our mystery bulbs are nearly starting to flower☺!!!

St Robert's R.C Primary School: It's been a dry week this week. There a few signs of growing!

Ysgol Deganwy: Nearly all of the plants are growing.

Carnbroe Primary School: We didn't have lots of rain this week and it was very cold. Our bulbs are beginning to sprout.

Tonyrefail Primary School: On Tuesday we noticed 4 of our Daffodil plants have stated to push up through the soil. Yeay!

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: We've had some frosty mornings but our daffodils are still starting to appear through the soil. The ones in the garden are growing faster!

Henllys CIW Primary: It was pretty cold but no rain. Quite a few plants are growing!

St. Nicholas Primary School: The bulbs have sprouted.

Arkholme CE Primary School: This week has been dry and cold. We have been checking our bulbs all week but because of the cold they haven't grown much. Have a good week.

Ysgol Deganwy: The plants have started to grow and it's been super cold!

St Ronan's Primary School: Most of the daffodil in pots, are at least 2 to 3 cm.