Knockando Playgroup Plant a Jubilee Tree at the Woolmill

Tree planting at Knockando Woolmill

On a sunny morning in April , children, parents and playworkers from Knockando Playgroup, and Grenville (Lord Lieutenant  of Moray) turned out to help Hugh, the Woolmill weaver, plant a special tree celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Hugh was helped by all the children to tap the oak tree out of its pot and into the soil. Each child shoveled in some compost to help the tree take hold and grow, and we all shared a special moment thinking about how we could come back and sit in the shade of its branches.

We took a tour of the Woolmill site, first stop the pond, where water is diverted from the Knockando Burn. We followed the path of the lade (a big clay pipe) that takes the water down to the mill. We paused at the dug out where the refurbished waterwheel will be put back in place shortly, and talked about how the mill used water power to run the carding, spinning and weaving machinery to make cloth from raw wool.
After that we peeked through the weaving shed windows and saw the two dobby looms, due to start operations again later this summer. We continued our walk round the site, making several trips under ‘the creepy’ where grown-ups wisely heeded the signs to ‘Mind yer heid’.

For snack we sat in the café, and then moved through into the interpretation area for an embellished storytelling of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. The children took part in the story by spinning drop spindles and twisting raw wool in their fingers, getting a real feel for the joys of processing wool into yarn.

We rounded off the day with the children drawing trees and stenciling mini beasts onto one big picture to take back to Playgroup. Of course I am biased but I’m pretty sure a great day was had by all!

The Woolmill is open to the public from 1st June so I hope to see you all there again soon!  I’ll put details up on the Woolmill website shortly about family activities on Wednesday afternoons over the summer.



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