Visit the Schools Reports page on the website every friday to find out what schools in the Bird Box project are doing to develop their school grounds and give nature a home.
Would your school like to share what it is doing to promote wildlife? Send a short report and small selection of photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We became involved with the Birdbox Project after attending a course run by SEEN at the RSPB in Dungeness about habitat mapping. We learned about both the Birdbox and the Beehive Projects and were inspired to find out more. .
At the time our historic rural school was in the early stages of planning a major project to mark our 150th year in 2016 – a Wildlife/Sensory/Spiritual Garden – to include a special “prayer labyrinth” around our mature horse chestnut tree. Plans for this are really taking shape, with an official opening in late June. We are confident that this will provide a special, tranquil place for the children, staff, governors, church and local communities to reflect, pray, chat and enjoy the considerable wildlife already present on the edge of our school site, where we already have an established pond sustaining rare great crested newts. We see this as a legacy for the future enjoyment and learning of the children and wider community.
The Birdbox Project was one of the first things we arranged as part of the wider picture we saw for our Wildlife Garden – something that would bring a real and exciting wildlife experience to those in our school. Our proposed garden area is brimming with robins, wrens, blackbirds etc. plus squirrels and hedgehogs, and we can’t wait for the children to be able to access this. They are beginning to regularly engage in watching the birdbox nesting activity on staff laptop screens around the school and we see this as an introduction to the importance of wildlife and a way to capture their interest. Our live “stream” to the birdbox is available on our school website, parents have been given details to access it online and staff have had input at staff meetings about its use and purpose. We have also circulated general information about the breeding and habits of blue tits so that everyone can keep up with what might happen next!
We are delighted that, after what we thought was a slow start to “occupancy” of our birdbox, with just the periodic roosting bird, we have a female blue tit busily building her nest (March 24th). On our return on 11th April she is still very evident and is lining her nest with down. We are eagerly awaiting eggs and then chicks…. The excitement continues!
We hope to be able to widen the learning opportunities for the children using the resources, ideas and expertise of SEEN once our Wildlife Garden is established.