More than 130 local primary school children have enjoyed taking a walk on the wild side thanks to funding from a mayoral charity.
During his mayoral year of office in 2015/16, Coun Jon Barry set up a charity to raise money to fund educational visits to RSPB Leighton Moss in Silverdale last autumn and this spring. This enabled local children to explore nature in its natural habitat and discover the world of amazing wildlife that calls the reserve home.
The funding recently enabled children from Christ Church PS, Lancaster, Mossgate PS, Heysham Westgate PS, Morecambe, St Mary's Catholic PS, Morecambe and Trumacar PS, Heysham to take a trip to the reserve and enjoy taking part in nature based outdoor learning activities.
Commenting on the success of the visits, former Mayor Coun Jon Barry, said: "I'm delighted that so many children have benefited from my fundraising as mayor. I hope that they will keep their appreciation of nature as they get older."
Carol Bamber, Learning Officer at RSPB Leighton Moss said:"We were thrilled to receive the Mayoral funding that allowed us to bring these schools to visit Leighton Moss. The children enjoyed taking part in a nature trail - exploring living things and their habitats and then became scientists, investigating rocks and soils. It is always a pleasure to encourage children to get excited by the natural world around them, so we are very thankful to the former Mayor for providing this fantastic opportunity."
Research by the RSPB has shown that the amount of time that children in the 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 help more children 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.
For more information on school trips to Leighton Moss and the activities on offer, visit rspb.org.uk/schoolvisits and click on the Leighton Moss pin.