RSPB Cymru is on a mission to help ‘green-up’ schools in Cardiff, build homes for wildlife and bring biodiversity to your playground.
RSPB Cymru is launching a brand new pilot project this September in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council, to inspire and help thousands of primary school children across Cardiff to give nature a home.
Through the project; Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff, we’re offering three new outreach sessions for primary schools, each lasting an hour to help your pupils learn about the wildlife outside their classroom window and identify what they can do to make their school more nature-friendly.
All our sessions are free of charge and delivered by our expert staff and volunteers, who can deliver two sessions in your school over the course of this academic year to really help your pupils learn more about the wildlife around them; encouraging them to do more for nature, now and in the future.
The three sessions we can deliver in your school are:
We’re pretty sure your school is already giving nature a home, but to what and where? Our Bioblitz session will help you find the answer.
We’ll arrive armed and ready to help your pupils Bioblitz your school. Using our sweep nets, magnifying glasses and other nature detective equipment we’ll help your pupils hunt for plants and animals under every rock, bush and doormat.
Bioblitzes can unearth some amazing results; hundreds of species and wildlife in corners you never knew existed. This session offers your pupils the chance to investigate the microhabitats around your school to find plants and animals adapted to different environments, identify them and work out what they do and what they need from us.
Our Bioblitz session is available all year round and works in any season. In autumn we might find more animals tucked away for warmth and in summer animals will be more active; keeping us on our toes!
Big Schools Birdwatch
A chance for your class to take part in Europe’s biggest and longest running birdwatch; a huge citizen science project and this session will help your pupils get involved.
Using our ID guides and binoculars and with some RSPB expertise on hand we’ll work with your class to spot and identify the birds around your school. From blackbirds to robins, all the birds we spot we’ll count and record with your pupils and help them to submit your results online to the Big Schools Birdwatch website.
Using results from the website we can compare and contrast the birds found in your school to those spotted in other schools across Cardiff and identify the birds we could attract in future.
Our Big Schools Birdwatch runs from 5 January to 13 February 2015. During this time we can deliver this session and submit your school results to the Big Schools Birdwatch website.
At all other times of year we can deliver this session, your results won’t count towards the Big Schools Birdwatch survey, but it’ll be good practice and is still a great chance to spot and identify the birds around your school, with some expert help.
Giving Nature a Home
If you could create a habitat map of your school, what would it look like? More tarmac than toaditats, bricks than bird boxes?
Our Giving Nature a Home session is designed to help your pupils map your school for nature and identify habitats and spaces for nature that already exist and spot opportunities for more. Armed with a scorecard, your pupils can score your school for nature and together we can work out how and where we could make a little bit more space for nature and increase the biodiversity around your school ... potentially making your school a nicer place to be, for you and your pupils too.
Once your pupils have identified a few things they’d like to do we’ll work with you to share top tips and lots of easy ‘how tos’ to help you realise these plans and help make your school more nature-friendly.
If you’re interested in booking any of these sessions please contact Tim Wort our Youth and Education Officer on: 02920 353 271 / email@example.com
Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff is funded until 2016 thanks to the generous support of Tesco customers, through the Welsh Government’s carrier bag levy.
On Saturday morning I arrived at the fantastic Chapter Art house in Canton in Cardiff, with pots, pooters and all the identification sheets I could carry. Chapter were holding a NGS Community Garden event and I had offered to identify the buzzing, crawling, fluttering creatures which made the garden their home.
So what did we find,
(1.) Human (see below image)
The community garden is run by local volunteers and I was surprised by how young some of them were. They soon helped me track down a number of creatures and told me stories of they had come out of the undergrowth covered in caterpillars. Great to hear how they were experiencing a bit of nature through gardening in the middle of Cardiff!
Woodlice - Scuttling about the dampest parts of the gardens, these lot are members of the crab and lobster family after all.
Garden snail - We caused a few raised eyebrows as we cheered on snails as we raced mollusc on mollusc.Obviously Speedy the snail won and given a few leaves as a prize. (see below image)
Quickly hopped out of the pot
I would not want to guess at the two smaller species which wizzed about us, but the hornet-mimic hoverfly is a new one to me this year. I snapped a photo of one over the summer and posted it online asking “what is this gorgeous fly?” and discovered this species which seemed to have been mostly a south England species and which I personally had not noticed before this summer.
Speckled wood butterfly
Red admiral butterfly
Large white butterfly
Small white butterfly
When I was 7 I absorbed the pages of my little Colin Gems butterfly book. It was great to meet a new generation of young naturalists who had that same enthusiasm.
Queen white-tailed bumblebee
Common carder bee
Making beautiful honey (tastes slightly citrusy) at the community hives at chapter.
10 spot ladybird (see below image)
Orb web spider
Small brown moth
With our heads among the runner beans and peering under leafs and stones we did not spend a lot of time looking up! But a few other spots were
Thank you Chapter Art house for providing such a great home for nature! Watch this space for more like this.....
What are you doing from 2-5 October, fancy coming along to a spectacular trail of sound, light and sculpture in celebration of birds?
The event is presented by Jony Easterby, and For the Birds is a newly-devised collaboration between artists Dark Spark, Kathy Hinde, Esther Tew and Jony Easterby. The artists are delighted to be presenting an artistic celebration of birds at the exceptional RSPB Ynys-hir reserve which provides a breathtaking backdrop.
Thirty separate sound pieces and artworks have been developed in response to specific sites on the walk. Where there is wind the artist has used wind as part of the artwork, and where there is a particular bird habitat, the artist has used that bird as their inspiration. For the Birds is a stunning show for all the family. Covering some 2km of tracks and boardwalks the trail involves walking for over one hour around beautifully lit paths over undulating terrain. As transient and light as the birds themselves, the installations will be created using low-impact equipment suitable for remote places to create a sustainable and environmentally sensitive event.