25 years and counting: local children’s group celebrates quarter of a century anniversary

Kirsty Nutt

Thursday 19 January 2017

A group of nature-loving children in Kemnay are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their group this weekend with a special event to prepare for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch later in the month and a private party.

Everyone is encouraged to come along to the public event. The plan is to meet at 2 pm at Monymusk Village Hall and then spend an hour in the nearby park seeing what birds are around, learning the names of any new ones and finding out how by counting the birds in their gardens during Big Garden Birdwatch everyone can help wildlife [note 1].

This will be followed by a private party where current members of the Kemnay Wildlife Explorers and the volunteers that run the group will be joined by past members and volunteers, along with RSPB Scotland staff to celebrate their 25-year history.

Jasper Hamlet, Youth and Families Officer for RSPB Scotland, said: "25 years is a fantastic achievement for the volunteers of Kemnay RSPB Wildlife Explorers and a landmark worth celebrating! Over the last quarter of a century, they have provided brilliant opportunities for young people and families in and around Kemnay to get outside, explore, discover and learn about the natural world and the wonders of nature!"

The Kemnay group is the oldest RSPB Wildlife Explorers group in Scotland [note 2]. They meet once a month with a mixture of indoor meetings and outdoor excursions in the summer and offering opportunities for local children from a wide area including Inverurie, Alford and surrounding districts to get connected to nature [note 3].

Patricia Snowden is the main leader of the Kemnay RSPB Wildlife Explorers group, which has been going since 1992. She said: "It's a great opportunity to get kids outdoors and experiencing nature. By playing and learning outdoors, we can inspire the next generation to have a lasting connection with nature and want to protect it".

The group's activities are aimed at children aged about 7 to 12, and are intended to be both fun and educational. As well as outdoor meetings in the summer to places like Bennachie, the group also make homes for bats, owls and hedgehogs to help local wildlife. Brother and sister, Lewis and Rachel Cran are current members of the group. When asked about their favourite activities, Lewis said: " I really enjoyed planting the trees at Netherton Business Centre in memory of Dr Piggins and the group walk around Monymusk before Christmas." Then Rachel added: "My favourite meeting was also the walk around Monymusk and meeting Helen at the Bennachie centre on the Moth watch night as I was able to tell her all about the moth I'd seen at Drum castle in the summer holidays."

Anyone wanting more information about the Kemnay RSPB Wildlife Explorers group should visit rspb.org.uk/groups.

Editor's notes:

1. The Big Garden Birdwatch is in its 38th year and takes place on 28, 29 and 30 January 2017. More than half a million people across the UK are expected to watch and count their garden birds for this year's Big Garden Birdwatch. People are asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local public space, record the highest number of each bird species seen at any one time and then send their results to the RSPB.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch provides valuable information about the wildlife using our gardens in winter, enabling the RSPB to monitor trends and declines. It is also a chance to take time to enjoy the nature on our doorsteps.

2. Wildlife Explorer groups are part of the junior membership of the RSPB and the world's most exciting wildlife club for young people. Activities include wildlife watching trips, conservation activities, indoor meetings and talks. The groups are run by teams of highly motivated and enthusiastic volunteers. The key objectives are to inspire young people about nature while also having fun. There are a number of Wildlife Explorer groups running in Scotland. To find out more visit rspb.org.uk/groups.

3. The RSPB believes that connecting with nature should be a part of every child's life. Getting all children connected with nature develops deeply-held feelings and attitudes towards wildlife and the world we all live in. The recent State of Nature report shows that nature in the UK is disappearing - 60 per cent of species assessed have declined over recent decades. Not only can children take action to help turn this around, but they will also benefit from having more contact with nature. For more information visit https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/our-positions-and-campaigns/positions/education/research/connection-to-nature.aspx or https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/


4. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Topic: Big Garden Birdwatch Topic: Youth