Easebourne pupils taking up bird watching for RSPB survey

CLASSROOMS at Easebourne Primary, Duncton and Billingshurst Junior Schools are among classes across the county being turned into bird hides – all in the name of science.

The RSPB’s ‘Big Schools Birdwatch’ which started this week and runs until January 30, aims to encourage children and their teachers to discover and learn about the birds that share their school environment.

Last year in West Sussex, 754 children and teachers from 30 schools took part in the survey. The most common bird spotted was the starling with an average of 4.82 per school and the wood pigeon and blue tit completed the top three, with an average of 4.56 and 3.09 respectively.

As well as getting pupils interested in nature and wildlife, the survey helps the RSPB build a picture of which birds are visiting school grounds and record how their numbers are changing.

Don Fuller, the RSPB’s youth and education officer for south east England, said: “Wildlife is an unbeatable teaching resource. Colourful, attractive and abundant it can enthuse and inspire children, connecting them with the nature that lives alongside them everyday.

“Simple to set up, fun for children to do and offering a host of curriculum linked learning opportunities across all age ranges, Big Schools’ Birdwatch is something every school should participate in.

“All you need to do to take part is watch and count the birds in your school grounds for one hour, then send one set of results back to the RSPB telling us what you saw.”

For further information about Big Schools’ Birdwatch, and to register for a free teachers’ pack, visit the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch or ring 0300 456 8340 (calls charged at standard rate). The hotline number will be operational until January 30.