The RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch, the world’s biggest schools’ wildlife survey, returns today with hundreds of children expected to take part in Greater Manchester.
A recent survey of teachers and school children found that an overwhelming majority believed it was important to experience nature at school. The Birdwatch is the perfect opportunity for school children in Greater Manchester to get outside, learn and make their first discoveries in nature.
Blackbirds, house sparrows and robins are at the top of the checklist for hundreds of school children across Greater Manchester this week as the world’s biggest schools’ wildlife survey kicks off.
The RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch – which takes place during the first half of the spring term (2 January-23 February) – is a chance for children to put down their books and get outside to experience and learn about the nature that lives in their local community. The Birdwatch involves children spending an hour watching and counting the birds that visit their outdoor space, before sending the results to the RSPB.
Last year, more than 1300 children and teachers in Greater Manchester took part. Starling was the most common playground visitor in the county and half of schools spotted one during their watch. Magpies, blackbirds and woodpigeons all featured prominently in the results, and with over 70 different species recorded, there is sure to be a few surprises in schools around the county.
Emma Reed, RSPB Education, Families and Youth manager in Northern England said: “Sadly, children today are spending less time outside in nature, which means they are missing out on the positive impact it has on their physical health, emotional wellbeing and their education. The Birdwatch is the perfect chance for them to experience nature first hand, make exciting discoveries, and the results help provide our scientists with valuable information, so the children are helping to make a real difference for wildlife.”
For the first time the RSPB has partnered with Cbeebies favourites Twirlywoos to provide exciting new activities and resources specifically tailored to Early Years, to help get their mini Birdwatches off to a flying start.
The Big Schools Birdwatch is a free activity and only takes an hour to complete. Teachers can pick any day during the first half of the spring term to take part, with the flexibility to run it as a one off or as the centre piece of a cross-curricular study, project work or a way for the children to improve their outdoor space.
To take part in the Big Schools Birdwatch and help the next generation of children start their own wildlife adventure, visit rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch