Photo Caption: P7 Pupils from Killinchy Primary School (from left to right) Mark McNeilly, Ryan Yamin-Ali, Caitlin Clarke and Kathryn McKeag hang up bird feeders in their school grounds which they made as part of the Homes for Wildlife Project funded by Comber Rotary Club and delivered by local nature conservation charity Ulster Wildlife. Also included (from left to right) is Adrian Woodley, Ulster Wildlife; Alan Boucher, Principal of Killinchy Primary School; and Duggie Anderson, Comber Rotary Club

Schools to be wildlife friendly

School children across Co. Down will have an opportunity to explore and discover nature this year - from birds and bees to bugs - as their school grounds are transformed into wildlife-friendly areas.

The'Homes for Wildlife' initiative developed by local nature conservation charity Ulster Wildlife, with support from Comber Rotary Club, is designed to help children create habitat for wildlife in their school grounds and get closer to nature.

From making food for the birds and building bug hotels for minibeasts, to learning how to identify wildlife on their doorstep, the children will take part in three seasonal workshops designed by the charity to be fun and engaging

Rotarian Kevin McAlpin, project leader for Comber Rotary Club, said: "We are thrilled to be able to help local children explore and learn about their environment, both at school and at home. One of the constant aims of Rotary is to assist young people of all ages to improve their skills and knowledge. Ulster Wildlife's support has been invaluable in achieving this as their expertise in outdoor learning is second to none."

Christine Chambers, Discovery and Learning Officer with Ulster Wildlife said: "We're delighted to have teamed up with Comber Rotary Club to encourage schools to embrace wildlife-friendly gardening and provide a little space for nature on their doorstep. "Many schools, no matter how big or small their outdoor space, have the potential to create habitats for wildlife -whether it's putting up a bird box or leaving areas of grass and flowers to grow wild. Learning outside the classroom is also a fantastic way for children to explore, play, and get close to nature, whilst encouraging active lifestyles and we hope for some it might be the start of a lifelong interest in wildlife." Comber Rotary Club has been working closely with several local schools on the manufacture of the wildlife homes for the initiative. In addition, the Rotary has also donated a number of barn owl nest boxes to Ulster Wildlife which will be installed at its nature reserves across Northern Ireland where there is suitable habitat for this vulnerable bird

Ulster Wildlife delivers a range of inspiring education programmes to help connect children with nature. To find out more visit randlearn

Story by: DA


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