September, 2011


Bringing children and nature together


  • Know a great natural space to play? Don't keep it to yourself!

    Play England, part of the leading children's charity NCB, has been awarded £500,000 for the Exploring Nature Play project. This project aims to help children explore and enjoy the nature around them.
    The interactive map can provide useful information for schools and families alike. Offering a place where you can find and review local play areas, natural green spaces and environmental projects in your local area.
    The more we put on the map the more we can all gain from it! So click here to have a look at your local natural space to play now!
    Picture from Eleanor Bentall (
  • Fabulous Fundraisers

    Lots of you have been getting active at school or at home to help Save our Birds of Prey, and I am pleased to report that so far we have raised a brilliant £3,595.04! Thanks to everyone who has helped to raise this amount including these two keen fundraisers who I’m going to be mentioning now, keep up the good work!

    A letter and pictures from Joel Caldwell Flinn, aged 7

    To RSPB wildlife explorers

    I really love being a Wildlife Explorer and in the summer I saw lots of different wildlife and birds of prey on holiday on Exmoor. We also visited the Owl and Hawk Centre and I got to handle the Tawny Owl called Pip.

      When I got the Save the Birds of Prey Bird Life magazine I decided to ride by bike 10 times around the lake at Greenbank Park near where we live to raise some money.

    I have got people to sponsor me. I did the bike ride on Saturday and cycled 11 times round the lake. While I was doing it our friend 'Henry' the Heron was at the lake- I think he had come to support me!

    So far I have raised £40.90 but more people are still to send me the money, then I will be able to send it in.

    Joel, age 7.

    Pictures from Rachel Davis, aged 5

    Rachel has been busy doing lots of different activities to raise money for Birds of Prey, and has raised a huge £57.73 for the appeal. Here she is demonstrating a few fundraising ideas....

    I hope these two fundraisers have inspired you to get out there and start fundraising with your class, group or family.

    If you are interested in finding out more about this appeal, please read my other blog entry and have a look at our website, you can download a specially designed Birds of Prey moneybox here.

  • Resources for schools are important

    “How much of your budget is wasted on making these packs when a local library could provide up to date nature books instead?”

    An interesting response posted on twitter earlier this week, regarding the free Big Schools’ Birdwatch resources we provide for schools and clubs. Whilst I can not disagree with the sentiment inherent in that which promotes the use of our public libraries, I wonder if in today’s modern age we would be able to get students enthusiastic about nature if they were always shown into a library and were unable to experience it first-hand?

    These packs are important in many different ways, however the three main advantages of them are:

    • Enabling teachers who aren’t nature confident to have the best tools and support to teach about wildlife when they otherwise wouldn’t
    • Allowing students from all backgrounds to engage with nature and learn about conservation first-hand
    • Giving children a positive experience through the RSPB which will make it more likely that they will step up for nature in the future, in whatever form, whether it be with us or with somebody else

    Our Big Schools’ Birdwatch packs are relevant and user friendly, providing continuity between projects, something library books cannot provide. This is a nationwide project which contributes to research data on bird populations, so it’s pretty important to us. If we asked teachers to source their own books and materials to teach the activity (not an easy task for an already busy teacher), we couldn’t hope to reach as many children as we do now.

    The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a meaningful activity which encourages students to be active learners, as well as nurturing a love for nature which might otherwise be ignored. I’m sure those involved in learning would agree, that’s worth every penny.