- The RSPB and ALDI have today launched the Wild Challenge aimed at encouraging families to spend more time outside exploring the natural wonders on their doorstep
- Families taking part in the Wild Challenge during April will be entered into a prize draw to win an Ultimate Wild Challenge explorer kit worth over £500
- RSPB reserves throughout the region are hosting a range of Wild Challenge and Easter themed activities to join in over the Easter holidays
The RSPB and ALDI are challenging families to go on their own wild adventure this Easter to be in with a chance of winning a bumper pack of prizes worth over £500 as they launch the new and exciting Wild Challenge.
With the amount of time children and their families are spending outside in nature on the decline,Europe's biggest nature conservation charity and discount supermarket Aldi, have collaborated to help families take a step closer to nature, and there is no better place to begin this experience than in our wildlife-diverse region.
The Wild Challenge is the RSPB's brand new online awards scheme encouraging children, families and schools to go out and get closer to the natural world.
By completing fun and engaging activities ranging from minibeast safaris and pond dipping to making a hedgehog cafe, participants can log their achievements on to the RSPB Wild Challenge website and collect bronze, silver and gold awards depending on the number of activities completed. There are 24 activities to choose from that will take you from your own back garden to exploring towns, cities, woodlands and even the coast.
Miranda Krestovnikoff, RSPB President and BBC TV Presenter, said: "I enjoy nothing more than spending time outside with my family and showing my children what's out there - be it a majestic bird of prey or a quirkier creature like a slow worm. Research keeps proving what our instincts know, time outside isn't just good for us, it's vital. As a family we've enjoyed going on our own wild adventure from discovering the minibeast in our garden to exploring the rockpools in Marlowes Beach in Pembrokeshire." [note 2]
Every family who achieves a bronze, silver or gold award during the month of April will be entered into a prize draw to win the Ultimate Wild Challenge explorer kit worth over £500. The kit includes a selection of wildlife goodies to help them continue on their wild adventure. [note 3]
The Wild Challenge is open to all; whether you live in a busy city, seaside haven or a sleepy village. There is something to do all year, no matter what the weather. Each activity comes with helpful ideas and resources to help families on their wild adventure.
Research by the RSPB has shown that the amount of time that children in UK spend in nature has radically declined. In 2013, groundbreaking research revealed that only one in five children between the ages of 8-12 had a connection to nature that was considered a realistic and achievable target for all children.
The RSPB's ambition is for the Wild Challenge to help more families across the country reap the benefits of spending time outside in nature. Research has shown that children who have a healthy connection to nature are more likely to benefit from higher achievement at school, better mental and physical health, and develop stronger social skills.
Clare Whitelegg, RSPB Schools Outreach Officer in the East, said: "Families will always remember their first discoveries when they are out together in nature. Whether it is spotting their first swallowtail butterfly or caterpillar in the broads, being amazed by the weird and wonderful creatures you can find when pond dipping at one of our reserves, or attracting their first feathered customers to their homemade bird feeders , they will always experience wonder.
"Getting outside and discovering nature on your doorstep is important whether your motivation is happy healthy children, memorable family time or to see our towns and countryside richer in nature. The opportunity to connect with nature should be a part of every child's life and the RSPB's Wild Challenge is here to help every family go on their own wild adventure."
Mary Dunn, ALDI Communications Director, said: "We are delighted that we are working with the RSPB to help connect children with nature. We encourage families across the UK to sign up to the Wild Challenge to celebrate the great outdoors this spring." [note 4]
The RSPB will be on hand with hints, tips and rewards to guide you through your wild adventure. To take your first steps to your bronze, silver or gold Wild Challenge award visit
The Easter school holiday is a great time for families to explore, enjoy and have fun in nature's spring festival, so what better time to start your own Wild Challenge? Throughout East Anglia, RSPB reserves are hosting a range of fun themed activities for you to join in, whilst helping you achieve your Wild Challenge award. Some of the highlights include:
Wild Challenge Wednesday - Pond Dipping Fun at Strumpshaw Fen, Norfolk: Discover the unseen world of amazing wildlife in our ponds and get dipping! Take part in wild games and make your own wild creature from natural materials to take home. 12 April, 10 am - 2 pm. Price: £2.50 per child plus reserve entry fee, drop-in event, no booking required.
Minibeast Monday at Rye Meads, Hertfordshire: Come with us and explore the tiny world of animals that live in Bug City! Find and learn all about colourful ladybirds, speedy centipedes, beautiful butterflies and buzzing bees! Monday 10 and 17 April, 10am - 12pm or 2pm - 4pm. Price: Members £3 Non members £5 per child, there is a car park charge of £3 for non-members.
Sounds of Spring with breakfast at Minsmere, Suffolk: From booming bitterns, warbling warblers to the delight of the nightingale's song, our guides will take you on a sound tour you won't forget. Learn to pick out the distinctive songs and calls in the symphony, then enjoy a light breakfast and warm drink for the perfect start to your day. 4 April - 14 May, 7.30 am, returning for breakfast at 9.30 am. Price: RSPB members £17, non member adults £25, RSPB Wildlife Explorers £11, non member children £19. Places are limited and booking is essential so book early to avoid disappointment.
To find out about more events happening near you theis Easter holidays, visit - www.rspb.org.uk/events
1. 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.
2. RSPB Connecting with Nature report - https://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/connecting-with-nature_tcm9-354603.pdf
3. Miranda Krestovnikoff and her family have been taking part in the Wild Challenge over the last couple of months. Photos, video and interviews are available. Please contact the RSPB Press Office.
4. The Ultimate Wild Challenge Explorer kit includes: Birdcam, Hoglio and food, bat detector, binoculars and children's binoculars, minibeast explorer kit, nestbox, bee & bug biome, feeding station, window feeder gift pack, a selection of wildlife books and a £50 voucher from ALDI. Images of the prize are available from the RSPB Press Office.
5. Proceeds from Aldi's carrier bag sales across the UK are expected to see the charity receive donations in excess of £2m over a three year period. The discount supermarket has always charged for carrier bags since it first opened in the UK in April 1990 in an effort to reduce its environmental impact.
Funded by Aldi, over 117,000 children have participated in the RSPB's Connecting Children with Nature project.