Silent Valley National Park is a beautiful representation of the last remaining rain forest of Kerala. For the last three decades this prestine forests are protected and managed by the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department. Canopy Nature Club and Department of Zoology Farook College participated three days Nature Camp at silent valley National park from 20 -22 December 2016. The camp was sponsored by Department of Forest and wildlife, Govt of Kerala. The main objective of this camp was to increase the environmental awareness among the students through direct learning from the nature. The entire camp systematically organized and scheduled with different awareness sessions, trekking, nature walk, meditation, Birding etc.
We the team members consisting of 40 students five teachers reached the silent valley national park on 20 December 2017 at 5 5PM. The first session was an awareness class in the lecture hall. Mr. Shanmughan, Forest watcher made introductory remarks; he gave all necessary instructions to the camp members. Mr. Ameen Ahsan, Forester, gave a lecture on the History of Silent valley National Park; he also explained the salient features, geography, and endemic flora and fauna of the area. The session was concluded at 9.30 PM.
The second day of the Nature camp was started at 6 AM with bird watch programme, Mr. Shanmughan, Dr. Rashiba were helped the members to identify the various bird species. The trekking session was after the breakfast, it was full of Joy and adventure. The members enjoyed the beauty of different forest types and its floral and faunal characteristics. Mrs. Shabana T.P, Dr. Rashiba, Dr. P. Abdul Gafoor, Dr. H. Habeebrehman, from the Department of Zoology, Farook College and four forest officers accompanied the students.
After the lunch there was an interesting session in the lecture Hall, lead by Mr. Shivakumar, Nature Studies Officer, WWF – India. The participants of the trekking were asked to present their feedback in a chart. The students shared their trekking experience in the colorful drawings and cartoons.
Then evening session was a trip to Attappdi area, where we could see how the deforestation affected the biogeography of the area due to the over exploitation and other development activities. Mr. Shivakumar lead the next awareness session in the lecture hall and it was concluded at 10 PM.
The day three was started with meditation near the bank of river Bhavani. The team crossed the river just before the sun rise, and experienced the silence of the forest and how the silence breaks with different calls as the day breaks out. The team was fortunate enough to witness a very rare scene in the forest. That was a king cobra hunts another snake for its feed, which was amazing experience for the entire team. In the valedictory session, there was a quiz programme based on experience of the nature camp. Students shared their experience and took oath regarding the environment protection. As a token of gratitude to the service provided by the employees of the silent valley national park the coordinator of the Canopy nature club gave away the Mementoes. The nature camp helped the entire team to deepen their appreciation of nature and awaked the spirit of adventure through trekking, birding meditation etc.