Bird­watch in schools

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - BY JOHN MCDOUGALL john.mcdougall@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @JMacD1988

CHIL­DREN across Halton are be­ing en­cour­aged to take part in the UK’s big­gest schools wildlife sur- vey.

The RSPB’s Big Schools’ Bird­watch 2017 takes place dur­ing the first half of the spring term and helps chil­dren discover the won­der­ful wildlife they share their school grounds with, while pro­vid­ing a help­ful in­sight into which species are thriv­ing or de­clin­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search con­ducted by the RSPB, one in five chil­dren are ‘dis­con­nected from na­ture’.

The ini­tia­tive aims to in­spire chil­dren to care about the nat­u­ral world around them in the hope they will want to help pro­tect it for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Last year al­most 100,000 pupils and teach­ers from schools all across the UK took part by count­ing the birds that vis- ited their school grounds.

The RSPB’s ed­u­ca­tion, fam­i­lies and youth man­ager in North­ern Eng­land Emma Reed said: “Tak­ing part in Big Schools Bird­watch uses just one les­son or lunchtime so it’s re­ally easy to get in­volved. We hope the ex­cite­ment of tak­ing part will then in­spire chil­dren in Cheshire to get out and ex­pe­ri­ence more of the wildlife around them..”

Over the years more than 70 dif­fer­ent species have been recorded in school grounds, rang­ing from star­lings and house spar­rows, to red kites and green wood­peck­ers.

Since its launch in 2002, the Big Schools’ Bird­watch has pro­vided op­por­tu­ni­ties for chil­dren and teach­ers to learn about how to give na­ture a home in their school grounds.

Many schools pre­pare for the event in ad­vance by putting up feed­ers and nest­boxes and mak­ing bird cake.

To reg­is­ter to take part visit rspb.org. uk/school­swatch ● ●

An RSPB worker reaches chil­dren

A blue tit

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