People’s Postcode Lottery supports new schools' project to celebrate local nature

Lauren Shannon

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Free school sessions begin this autumn to introduce local children to some of the wonderful wildlife living on their doorsteps

An exciting new project has been launched today by RSPB Scotland, giving pupils from Perth & Kinross, Dundee, Fife and Angus the opportunity to learn about Scotland's threatened wildlife and the nature that lives near them.

RSPB Scotland has received nearly £20,000 thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery. The funding boost from Postcode Local Trust will enable RSPB Scotland to take local primary schools to beautiful locations around the Tay Estuary to learn about the inspiring return of white-tailed eagles.

Sara Rasmussen, RSPB Scotland Community Outreach Officer said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for local children to learn first-hand about white-tailed eagles and other wonderful wildlife that lives on our doorstep. The return of these iconic birds is a great way to engage children in discovering and connecting to their local wildlife and inspire them to become future guardians of the natural world. We are really grateful for all the support from the players of People's Postcode Lottery that has made this possible."

White-tailed eagles or sea eagles as they are often known once lived all over Britain, even nesting as far south as the Isle of Wight in 1780. They were persecuted to virtual extinction by the early 1900s and when the last known bird in the UK was shot in Shetland in 1918, the sea eagle became extinct in Britain.

But they are back. After an extinction period of 100 years the white-tailed eagle was successfully reintroduced to the east coast of Scotland between 2007 and 2012 - following other reintroductions on the Isle of Rum (1975) and in Wester Ross (1993-1998). The east coast reintroduction project was a partnership between RSPB Scotland, Forest Enterprise Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, and 85 young birds were released over the five years.

One pair has now set up home in a Forest Enterprise Scotland wood in Fife and has nested successfully there for the last four years. They are often spotted fishing at the Eden Estuary or off the beach at Tentsmuir providing local communities with opportunities to see these birds back in the landscape again. RSPB Scotland hopes that the funding provided by players of People's Postcode Lottery via the Postcode Local Trust which includes transport support for schools will help even more local children discover the story of the return of these birds.

For more information about the Celebrating Nature with Schools project please call 01738 630783 or perth.admin@rspb.org.uk

Photographs:

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Editor's notes:

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. Forest Enterprise Scotland is the government agency that's responsible for managing Scotland's National Forest Estate. The work we do is extremely varied and goes far beyond what many people think of as traditional forestry. As well as sustainable timber production, you're just as likely to find us protecting important habitats for wildlife, working with local communities, or making it easier for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors.

3. Postcode Local Trust exists to fund community groups and charitable organisations through a variety of grant giving programmes. To do so, the Trust relies solely on funding from the proceeds of tickets sales from People's Postcode Lottery. When you sign up to play People's Postcode Lottery, your postcode is your ticket. It costs £10 for 10 draws paid monthly in advance with prizes every day. A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities across Great Britain and internationally.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Topic: Birds and wildlife Topic: Birds of prey Topic: Education Topic: Species conservation