Bellingham middle school students attended a STEM event at construction company Tarmac's Barrasford Quarry, Hexham, concluding Northumberland National Park's new festival.

Tarmac hosted the STEM day at its site in Hexham, on Thursday, October 21, which was attended by almost 80 Year 8 students from two local schools.

Students were involved in four sessions, exploring STEM careers, geology, tech and land management, before observing a planned detonation.

Rachel Baron, learning officer at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: "We've seen an increase in demand for outdoor learning from school communities following the disruptive period of uncertainty and the impact of Covid-19, which is why creative methods of learning "is so important and impactful."

During the geology session, the pupils learnt about the science and history of the area, the formation of the Whin Sill; a dramatic and iconic ridge of rock along which Hadrian’s Wall was built in Northumberland National Park, as well as understanding Tarmac’s wildlife responsibilities and why reinstating land where work has been carried out is so important to the area’s biodiversity. Pupils also had the opportunity to learn about the tech used on the quarry, and equipment used to plan and manage land effectively.

Dan Carr, quarry manager at Barrasford Quarry, said: "We put a great deal of effort into planning and delivering the day, so to see the interaction between our presenters and the children was really rewarding. We hope we can build on these foundations and support the STEM Festival in the future.”

The sessions also included exploring different job roles at the quarry.