December, 2011


Bringing children and nature together


  • Climate Action Awards - your answer to Durban?

    By Guest Blogger: Sandra Pape

    We witnessed a historic moment: on Sunday the 11th of December the whole world signed up to tackle Climate Change in an agreement made in Durban, South Africa. Never before have people from all over the world – Ireland, China, the US, Congo, Brazil,... - found a topic important and urgent enough to overcome their differences in order to join forces for a common goal. They did it now in order to face our world’s biggest challenge: Climate Change.

    This unification was a wonder in itself and still, won’t be enough on its own. The global target is to prevent a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial times. Scientists are sceptical that the agreements made in Durban will achieve this and warn that for every increased Degree 10% of the world’s species will become extinct.

    Consequently, it is up to us, each and everyone of us, to do our bit. Don’t worry, you won’t need to turn your whole life around and there is a lot that can be achieved when working together. A great way to get started is joining our Climate action awards scheme! Get in contact and we'll send you a booklet full of ideas and small steps that you can take on your own, as family and in school. This booklet is for children of all ages, but will get adults thinking too. Children can complete a number of tasks and will be rewarded with a collection of colourful stickers and a special certificate. In addition, your efforts can be contributed to our Wildlife action awards.

    So get involved, because the future depends on today’s actions!

  • WildVerse Winners

    Throughout the year we hold fantastic competitions for young people - details of all the different annual competitions can be found on our website. There's a competition to suit every strength, whether it be story writing, creating a piece of art, taking a stunning photo or writing a captivating poem.

    More children than ever before entered our recent WildVerse poetry competition, seeing an impressive 30% increase on last year's entries.

    As a result, the judges were overwhelmed by the fantastic response and quality of the poems that had been entered by young people accross the country - they had their work cut out deciding who should win accross both categories (under and over 8's).

    So a huge congratulations are in order to Thomas, aged 7, from London for winning the under 8 category with Not an Otter Spotter!, and Ian, aged 13, from Linlithgow for winning the over 8's category with The Kingfisher.

    You can listen to the winning poems, and the fantastic entries from the runners up, when they are read out on air on the Fun Kids radio station between 27th - 31st December.

    Our competitions are open to all young people and would be ideal for participation at school or at home.

  • Crest Award Achieved for Ellon!

    The  Ellon RSPB Wildlife Explorer Group has achieved a lot since its launch in 1995 – winning “Group of the Year” in 2007 and achieving a Gold Wildlife Action Award in 2009, to name some of the highlights.  So when two of the older members of the group were looking for a new challenge, they weren’t about to take on anything easy!

    CREST are nationally-recognised, project-based awards for the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), which are organised by the British Science Association.  They awards are designed for young people aged 11 – 19, but Ellie and Lewis from the Ellon Group decided to take on the challenge of achieving a Bronze CREST award at only 10 years old!

    After taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch earlier this year, Ellie and Lewis obtained data for the previous 15 years surveys  in the same garden and decided to analyse this data to research how bird numbers  had changed over this period of time.  They focussed their studies on house and tree  sparrows and set about trying to establish and test theories regarding the changes in numbers of these species.

    Ellie Turk and Lewis Lamond receiving their CREST certificates from Fiona Marshall and Dr. David Turk.  Fiona is the outgoing leader of the Ellon WEX group - this was her last duty to present Ellie and Lewis with their certificates - and Dr Turk was Ellie and Lewis' supervisor for their project.

    Not only had Ellie and Lewis taken part in an interesting and innovative project, but they were also invited to present their findings to RSPB volunteers at a volunteer day in Aberdeen, speaking to four separate seminar groups!

    Ellie and Lewis have been a real inspiration to other members of the Ellon Wildlife Explorer Group, and have featured in our RSPB Leaders Guide to promote the CREST awards to other Widllife Explorer and Phoenix Groups in the UK.

    To find out more about CREST awards, visit