Wensum Junior School celebrates wildlife partnership anniversary

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Wensum Junior School celebrates wildlife partnership anniversary

On July 26, 2016, Posted by , in #nature, With Comments Off on Wensum Junior School celebrates wildlife partnership anniversary

Wensum Junior School celebrates wildlife partnership anniversary
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Last modified: 26 July 2016

New homes for wildlife thanks to Wensum Junior School pupils

Norwich school creating new homes for wildlife thanks to a year of Aldi / RSPB education partnership

Wensum Junior School has helped to celebrate the first anniversary of an educational partnership between Aldi supermarket and the RSPB by turning its grounds into a wildlife haven.

The school project was inspired by the RSPB’s Connecting Children with Nature project, which sees the wildlife charity delivering free environmental education sessions to Norwich schools thanks to funding provided by Aldi supermarket. 

After RSPB Schools Outreach Officer, Clare Whitelegg, ran a ‘Giving Nature a Home’ lesson at Wensum Junior School, pupils carried out an audit of their school grounds and used RSPB resources to help plan, design and build wildlife habitats including mini ponds, bird feeders, log piles and bug hotels. 

Lani, Wensum Junior School pupil, said: “I didn’t really think about homes for animals before we did the giving nature a home project but now I think about it more. I am glad that we made the habitats that we did because they are really important for animals and insects on our school grounds.” 

Mr Rob Whalen, Wensum Junior School Year 3 Class teacher, added:  “We now watch closely to see if anything has taken up the new homes on offer! All of the children and staff are extremely proud of the finished outcomes and look forward to seeing what we can do next!”

In its first year, the RSPB’s Connecting Children with Nature project has allowed over 3,000 children in schools across Norwich benefit from environmental education sessions delivered by RSPB staff and volunteers.

The project is part of a wider UK initiative between the conservation charity and supermarket chain which is celebrating its first anniversary this month.  The project has so far seen the UK’s leading discount retailer donate £775,000 from the sale of its carrier bags, helping over 50,000 children enjoy more than 75,000 hours of fun, exciting and educational nature experiences in 15 cities across Britain. During the next two years of the initiative, funding is expected to reach over £2m as RSPB-trained educators continue to deliver wildlife activities in schools, parks and nature reserves.

Aldi’s partnership with the RSPB aims to encourage young people to get out into nature to build their understanding and love of wildlife. By 2018, the programme aims to provide connection to nature experiences for more than half a million children across Britain. The scheme is funded solely by donations from carrier-bag sales in Aldi’s UK stores (see note 1).

Martyn Foster, RSPB Head of Education, Families and Youth, said: “The RSPB believes that opportunities to connect with nature should be a part of every child’s life. The radical decline in children’s access to nature in the last three generations is well evidenced. And yet research shows that when children are connected to nature it has a positive impact on their education, physical health, emotional wellbeing, and their personal and social skills.

“Thanks to our partnership with Aldi, we’re able to encourage young people to get out into nature in their school grounds and local green spaces and to build their understanding and love of wildlife. It’s crucial we provide the next generation with as many opportunities as possible to experience and enjoy the natural world, and most importantly, have fun.”

Mary Dunn, Communications Director at Aldi, said: “It’s an honour to celebrate our one year anniversary in partnership with the RSPB and donate such a significant sum of money, which has already started connecting thousands of children with nature and the great outdoors.

“Reducing environmental impact has always been high on our agenda and we remain extremely proud to be one of the first supermarkets to charge for carrier bags as a way of doing this.”

Since July 2015, the RSPB has offered free 90 minute nature experience sessions to primary schools in 15 cities across Britain, including Norwich. Close to 500 schools have taken up the outreach offer, which include a bio-blitz, a Big Schools Birdwatch session or a Giving Nature a Home sweep of the school grounds to show how pupils can encourage and help wildlife.

For more information about Aldi’s partnership with the RSPB, visit https://www.rspb.org.uk/forprofessionals/teachers/outreach/

Source: RSPB News

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