West Sussex schools Step up for Nature with the RSPB
20 September 2012
West Sussex schoolchildren have been working hard to help save the UK’s wildlife by taking part in a number of activities with the RSPB.
Each of these activities count as a step in the conservation charity’s Stepping up for Nature campaign, and show how easy, and fun, it is to help nature.
The steps that these wildlife friendly schools have taken include fundraising, taking part in a nature survey, setting up a wildlife club and achieving bronze, silver or gold in the RSPB’s Wildlife Action Awards.
Slindon County Primary School in Arundel took two steps for nature by taking part in the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch and having a Wildlife Explorer Club in their school.
Mrs Mckee, a teacher from Slindon County Primary School, said: “We always do the Big Schools Birdwatch every January, sometimes with the whole of Key Stage 2 or as this Year, with just Years 5 and 6.
“The Wildlife Explorers Club at Slindon operates as a half hour lunch time club, always filling up the bird feeders first to teach the children the importance of continuity in feeding wild birds. Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 can see feeders from their classroom windows and are familiar with great spotted woodpeckers, treecreeper, dunnock, nuthatches, blue, great and long tailed tits, robin, wren, blackbird, wood pigeon and other common birds.
“The children are always very keen on pond dipping, which we started in the Easter term the last two years, as we have a pond with suitable decking, checking their finds against identification sheets. We also use the RSPB games on the Kids site, where Mink trapping in the Save the Vole game is favourite.”
Don Fuller, RSPB south east youth officer, said: “Children who have the opportunity to explore nature through real-life and hands on experiences will absorb far more information and are more likely to connect with the nature around them.
“Getting children interested in wildlife from a young age is really important and when children know they are making a positive difference to their world – their enthusiasm is infectious.
“It’s really important to build on this enthusiasm and instill a love of nature in our children which will ensure this campaign reaps benefits for future generations.”
As a special 'thank you' to teachers and children that have taken steps for nature over the past year, the RSPB has sent over 2,625 brightly coloured 'Stepping Up for Nature' packs to schools across the country.
The pack contains a letter detailing the steps the school has completed, a certificate to say thank you and well done, stickers and an information sheet that gives suggestions for other steps that can be taken in school or at home.
The RSPB’s ‘Stepping Up for Nature’ movement encourages everybody to take steps, no matter how big or small, in order to help protect nature and ensure the Government meets its target to halt the decline in biodiversity by 2020.
If you have been inspired by these youngsters and would like to Step up for Nature yourself, please visit the RSPB’s website www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup for more information and ideas.