In celebration of our first ever Big Wild Sleepout, we've got an amazing prize to give away courtesy of Blacks, the outdoor retailer, to encourage even more people to sleep out and experience the great outdoors.
We have a camping kit worth over £400 to give away – ideal for those looking to join the Big Wild Sleepout! The kit includes:
Plus you'll also get:
How to enter
If you fancy winning this amazing prize, all you have to do is:
Terms and Conditions
This is a guest blog written for us by Beth, a work experience student who worked with the Climate Change team here at the Lodge last week.
When school friends asked me what work experience I was doing this summer and I said “I’m going to the RSPB” they imagined it would be a week in the woods with a pair of binoculars. In reality it was a week at a real desk with a computer in the Climate Change Policy Team.
One aspect of my week was meeting individuals to talk about their work at the RSPB. Olly Watts, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer talked about his conservation work on adaptation. He is passionate about not only strengthening the populations of species vulnerable to climate change but also providing stepping stones for them to new habitats. I also met staff from Parliamentary Campaigns, Public Relations and People Engagement, all of whom were fascinating and gave me an insight into involving members, the wider public and politicians in conservation issues.
During the week I sat in on the Conservation Policy departmental meeting. Each team presented a policy project they had been working on. This was fantastic as I got to see a wider range of the work done by the RSPB. A talk about ‘connecting children to nature’ was particularly intriguing. They are concerned that children are not connected enough to nature and have recognised this as a serious issue. Nature offers children a huge amount physically and mentally. How can the children of today protect a progressively more vulnerable environment in the future if they don’t connect with it?
In the afternoon there was a talk from Beth Thoren, Director of Fundraising and Communications. This was incredibly interesting and gave me a good insight into the RSPB and its future. She focused on the ‘Giving nature a home’ campaign. This slogan shows the public that the conservation work done by the RSPB helps to protect all nature not just birds, this is crucial as birds are part of a wider ecosystem and we have to protect all species in order to maintain biodiversity. It also encourages everybody to create a natural environment around their homes. And of course by supporting the RSPB we can help them give nature a home both in the UK and beyond.
One thing that particularly impressed me about the RSPB is the work within the organisation to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes the paper they buy, the water they use and the rubbish they put in the bin. They encourage their staff to live greener lifestyles. Not only does this help the environment but it shows that a lot of small changes can make a big difference. This has inspired me to try something similar at my school. I would love to improve our current recycling scheme, put up composting bins and get students interested in water and energy saving ideas. One idea I had was attempting to introduce a ‘vegetarian only’ day once a week as the meat industry is carbon intensive and a cause of deforestation overseas.
Another aspect of the RSPB which caught my eye is their Wildlife explorers (for children) and Phoenix forum (for teenagers). Both involve engaging magazines full of stimulating articles on nature, exciting activities and articles written by the readers. I particularly like the ‘Climate action awards’ which get school children to think about the environment and ways to reduce their carbon footprint. This inspires young people and educates them about climate change.
I also managed to squeeze in a few hours of volunteering on a nature reserve! We spent the day putting up a fence designed to keep rabbits away from an area of young heather which is ideal for birds such as nightjars. It was great meeting the other volunteers and getting out on the reserve.
My week at the RSPB has really made me think about the kind of job I want to have in future and the type of organisation I want to be a part of. Let’s just say I’ll be touch in when I’ve graduated!
A scavenger hunt is a great activity to do with your children and pupils this winter. There are so many things from the natural world to discover as our wildlife prepare for winter; birds will begin to fly away to warmer climes, and animals will be looking for nuts and berries to eat and collect in preparation for hibernation.
A great idea is to make up a treasure box before you go outside - this could simply be made with some shoe or cereal boxes, and decorated with natural objects such as sticks, leaves, paper and paint. Each child could make their own, or you could create larger boxes for groups of children and they could work together to decorate them.
Here are some suggestions for things that you could look for when you're on your hunt, but you may want to add some things to your scavenger hunt list before you go which are more specific to your local area (famous landmarks/a particular type of tree/a bird you know that visits your garden etc).
If you enjoy this activity, then you'll love our Wildsquare surveys, designed especially for children they encourage you to explore the natural world in your local area to coincide with the changing seasons, so there's always something new to look for and discover. The current survey is called 'preparing for winter' and you will be asked to look for nuts and seeds, plants with coloured berries, trees with leaves, and flocks of birds.