How many birds will your school spot on RSPB’s Big Birdwatch?

Schools across the whole of the UK will be taking part in the event
Schools across the whole of the UK will be taking part in the event
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Schools across Gainsborough and the West Lindsey district are being urged to take part in this year’s RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch.

The event, which runs until February 23, is the world’s biggest schools’ wildlife survey and more than 70,000 children are expected to take part across the UK.

And for the first time, the RSPB has partnered with CBeebies favourites the Twirlywoos to provide exciting new activities and resources specifically tailored to early years, to help get their mini-birdwatchers off to a flying start.

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 to get outside, learn and make their first discoveries in nature.

And blackbirds, house sparrows and robins are at the top of the checklist for thousands of school children as the birdwatch gets underway.

The birdwatch 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 scheme involves children spending an hour watching and counting the birds that visit their outdoor space, before sending the results to the RSPB.

A recent survey of 200 teachers and 1,200 school children from around the UK revealed that 96 per cent of teachers believed it was important for children to experience nature at school, while 77 per cent of pupils agreed.

With close to a million school children taking part since its launch in 2002, the birdwatch is the perfect opportunity for schools to get outside, learn and make their first discoveries in nature.

Last year, 73,000 children and teachers took part counting more than 100,000 birds.

For the ninth successive year the blackbird was the most common playground visitor with 88 per cent of schools spotting one during their watch.

Robins, house sparrows and wood pigeons all featured prominently in the results, and with more than 70 difference species recorded, there is sure to be a few surprises in schools around the country.

Rebecca Kerfoot, event co-ordinator for the RSPB, said: “The Big Schools Birdwatch is the chance for children to get a taste of the wild side where they live and go to school.

“It’s fun, easy and simple to set up, it works for all ages, and even if it’s a dull, rainy January day you can still gaze out of the classroom and see a flash of colour.

“Sadly, children are spending less time outside in nature, meaning they are missing out on the positive impact nature has on their education, physical health and emotional wellbeing.

“The birdwatch is the perfect chance to experience nature first hand, make exciting discoveries and help provide scientists with valuable information.”

The 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 birdwatch and help the next generation of children start their own wildlife adventure, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch