Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust launches new nature award scheme for children
Children looking for a new way to explore wildlife and have fun this Autumn can now become true nature nuts – with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s new Wildlife Watch Awards.
The Hedgehog, Kestrel and Nature Ranger awards aim to nurture the next generation of naturalists by offering a way for children to explore and study nature, whether in an urban or rural setting. Activities will help transform children into bug hunters and bird detectives, getting them outside into gardens, parks, and nature reserves where they can find out about their local wildlife.
Awards are earned on completion of a number of challenges, including activities such as:
Making a mini nature reserve Marking and recapturing garden snails Making a bat box Helping birds avoid flying into windows
With a multitude of wildlife experiences to be had in Autumn alone - from watching migrating birds or roaring stags, spotting colourful fungi or collecting fruits and nuts – online and outdoor activities and challenges completed will be rewarded with stickers, loyalty cards, certiﬁcates and badges.
Chris Packham, passionate conservationist and The Wildlife Trusts’ Vice President, said: “As a child and teenager I travelled a regular route to a young naturalist’s paradise. It led to all sorts of birds’ nests to Grass snakes, Fox earths and Badger setts. It led in simple terms to the reality of being a naturalist. It taught me the truths of my trade and I fell in love with them. Enjoying nature at a young age and coming to value it really can bring a lifetime of pleasure. But, as most good naturalists are hooked by the time they are nine years old, I truly hope these awards help to put the spark that sees the beauty of life in many a young heart.”
Naturalist Nick Baker, also a Vice-President of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “How do we get young people to turn off their computers, shut down their virtual worlds and go outside, get dirty and smell the mulch? We don’t! Wildlife Watch embraces technology and uses it as a spring board to the real world outside. It’s a virtual scrapbook, a digital wildlife club, and a place to exchange information, ask questions and record wildlife you’ve seen! I’m kind of jealous I didn’t have this sort of thing when I was 10!”
For full details of how the scheme works in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, please contact Diana Smith, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01489 774400 or visit the website www.hwt.org.uk
Wildlife Watch www.wildlifewatch.org.uk
Wildlife Watch is the junior branch of The Wildlife Trusts and the UK’s leading environmental action club for kids. There are 150,000 Wildlife Watch members around the UK and hundreds of local Watch groups where young people get stuck into environmental activities. Wildlife Watch members receive an exciting membership pack.
Wildlife Watch has a YouTube channel which features ‘How to’ videos for budding naturalists, and an exclusive water vole game where you fight for survival against fearsome foes like the tawny owl. Users can also download illustrated activity sheets and search an online wildlife database of over 800 plants and animals. Registered users of the website can also expect regular monthly e-newsletters, packed with activities and suggestions for getting close to the wildlife in their local area.
Rock ‘n’ vole: www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/
Download fantastic activity sheets: www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/
Wacky wildlife ringtones: www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/
To find out how to join Wildlife Watch visit www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/