'We're so inspired' - Children at outdoor school find Bronze Age artefact

Ivy Crocker, 8, and Edward Barkham, 8, at Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham.

Ivy Crocker, 8, and Edward Barkham, 8, with their discoveries at the site of an archaeological dig at Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham. - Credit: Dandelion Education

Children at an outdoor school have been enjoying an archaeological dig - with one girl even finding an artefact from the Bronze Age.

The excavations are part of the Aylsham Roman Project which have been taking place at Brick Kiln Wood on the grounds of Woodgate Nursery - which is also home to Dandelion Education, an outdoors forest school for children from five- to nine-years-old.

On February 22, the project's volunteers invited the children to join the dig, and eight-year-old Ivy Crocker soon uncovered a flint knife believed to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old.

Children at Dandelion Education in Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham

Children at Dandelion Education in Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham enjoy an archaeological dig as part of the town's Roman Project. - Credit: Dandelion Education

Emma Harwood, co-director of the school, said: "She was incredibly excited. It was amazing to hold different bits of the flint and guess what shape it could have been."

The children also found objects from the 200-year-old kiln after which the area is named.

Children at Dandelion Education in Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham

Children at Dandelion Education in Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham enjoy an archaeological dig as part of the town's Roman Project. - Credit: Dandelion Education

Ms Harwood said: "They found lots of things. They are so inspired by it and they all want to learn about history and archaeology."

The discoveries brought learning to life, she said.

She also said it was a joy to see people in their 70s and 80s digging alongside children of seven and eight-years-old.

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The Aylsham Roman Project is a community organisation for exploring and preserving the history of the Roman settlement at Woodgate Nursery.

Items previously found on the site include parts of a Roman mosaic, part of a jet necklace and Paleolithic flint.

Children at Dandelion Education and volunteers from the Aylsham Roman Project in Brick Kiln Wood

Children at Dandelion Education and volunteers from the Aylsham Roman Project in Brick Kiln Wood enjoy an archaeological dig. - Credit: Dandelion Education

But last week was the first time that Dandelion Education, which was set up in 2014 by Ms Harwood and co-director Hayley Room, enjoyed an archaeological dig.

Ms Harwood said: "One of the reasons I set up Dandelions is that children learn better outside and this exemplified why we do it."

Children at Dandelion Education in Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham

Children at Dandelion Education in Brick Kiln Wood in Aylsham enjoy an archaeological dig as part of the town's Roman Project. - Credit: Dandelion Education

Earlier in February, parts of the kiln that once fired up to 20,000 bricks at a time were uncovered by volunteers.

The project's main excavations took place annually over three weeks in August, on different parts of the 40-acre nursery site.

The summer digs are overseen by Bury St Edmunds-based Britannia Archaeology and are carried out with input from Norwich Castle Museum, Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse museum and Historic England.