PUPILS from Witchampton CofE First School were led by an archaeologist in ‘storming the ramparts’ of Badbury Rings.

The students and their teachers enjoyed a tour of the ancient site from National Trust South West archaeologist Nancy Grace and countryside ranger Mark Wratten.

Nancy said: “We looked and talked about all the sites around Badbury, as well as the hillfort itself. We followed the Roman road and talked about the Bronze Age round barrows and who may have been buried there.

“We also walked along the ramparts of the hill fort after trying to run up the rampart to attack it.

“The children had many questions and knew quite a lot about the site already - a credit to their teacher and school.”

During their visit, the children learned how people lived within the hillfort and how the landscape may have once looked.

They studied the geology, searched for worked flint tools and were also shown fascinating objects which have been excavated at the site, including Iron Age pottery, a Bronze Age axe and the National Trust’s oldest Badbury Rings object - a flint tool from the Palaeolithic era dated between 12,000 and 40,000 years old.

The pupils agreed however, that their favourite object was some second century Roman beaver teeth.

Nancy added: “Mark and I loved talking to the children about the history of the sites and sharing what we have found out about them and how we need to look after these places for everyone to enjoy.”

Jo Hancock, Witchampton's head of school, said: “Nancy and Mark really inspired our children and brought the past to life; they came back to school buzzing with enthusiasm and new information.”

Witchampton CofE First School is part of Wimborne Academy Trust (WAT).

WAT CEO Liz West said: “This visit sounds absolutely fascinating and it’s great to hear our pupils were so interested and engaged with all the information Nancy and Mark kindly shared with them.”