Kids take class out­doors

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS -

STU­DENTS from schools across the town left the warmth of their class­rooms to take part in the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Bird­watch.

It is a na­tional scheme or­gan­ised by the Royal So­ci­ety for the Pro­tec­tion of Birds to track dif­fer­ent species across the UK and en­cour­age more young­sters to take an in­ter­est in our feath­ered friends.

Ex­perts from the RSPB were on hand at all the schools to lend binoc­u­lars and spot­ting scopes, as well as ex­plain which type of birds the chil­dren were spot­ting.

In the first week of the scheme chil­dren from Hurds­field Pri­mary School, Ket­tleshulme St James, Prest­bury CE Pri­mary School, Bosley St Mary’s and Bobkins Nurs- ery have all been count­ing the birds in their school grounds, with pupils from Hurds­field head­ing to Vic­to­ria Park.

Last year, the black­bird topped the Big Schools’ Bird­watch list for the sixth year run­ning, with star­lings com­ing in sec­ond place and seen in half of schools, de­spite be­ing a species in se­vere de­cline na­tion­ally.

Re­sults showed that of the top 25 birds species recorded in the lat­est survey, 19 of th­ese were re­ported at lower num­bers com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

Last year’s mild win­ter might ex­plain why birds weren’t hav­ing to rely on gar­dens and schools grounds to feed. They prob­a­bly had an eas­ier time than ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing 2013’s very cold and snowy Big Schools’ Bird­watch.

Tina Hanak, a group leader for the Mac­cles­field RSPB Young Ex­plor­ers, said: “Each year more and more schools get in­volved in the Big Schools’ Bird­watch.

“It is a fab­u­lous ac­tiv­ity that en­cour­ages chil­dren to make real con­nec­tions to na­ture.

“We are hop­ing the en­thu­si­asm we wit­ness first-hand in school yards will trans­late into even more peo­ple tak­ing part in the Big Gar­den Bird­watch at the end of the month.”

Find more in­for­ma­tion about lo­cal RSPB ac­tiv­i­ties for young peo­ple on the web­site at www.mac­cles­fiel­dr­spb. org.uk.

Top and above: Chil­dren from Ket­tleshulme Pri­mary School iden­tify the dif­fer­ent species of birds; left, stu­dents from Prest­bury Pri­mary School use the chart to spot the dif­fer­ent birds; far left, stu­dents at Bosley St Mary’s gather to count 185 Canada geese; above left, pupils from Hurds­field also donned the binoc­u­lars to get a bet­ter view of the gar­den birds

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