Birdwatching February 2015

Budding Birdwatchers Bookham Turn Eyes To The Skies

PICTURES: Bookham bird-watchers turn eyes to the skies for nationwide event
By Dorking Advertiser | Posted: February 14, 2015
By Words: Alexander Robertson Photos: Grant Melton

BUDDING birdwatchers from a school in Bookham turned their eyes to the skies as they took part in a nationwide wildlife event.

Schoolchildren from Polesden Lacey Infant School took part in the Big Garden Bird Watch, an annual event organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Pupils were given lessons on how to identify the most common British birds and then sent out on to the school grounds and the National Trust’s Polesden Lacey estate.

Each armed with a pair of binoculars and field notes, the students were asked to recognise as many different species as they could and also learned how to make bird food.

The school, based in Oakdene Road, has taken part in the scheme for several years as it makes up part of its yearly schedule of events aimed at making pupils more environmentally aware.

Head teacher Rosie Keedy said: “We like the children to be able to develop a keen sense of their own responsibility for their world.

“This is done through many eco-related activities that take place during the year and the bird watch is just one of these.”

Polesden Lacey Infants has previously gained the Green Flag status on three separate occasions, as well as a National Teaching Award for its green teaching methods.

Early years leader Pat Mander, who organised the event, added: “The school is hoping to win a wildlife award from the RSPB. This award is given to sustainable and eco schools and is all about finding out about wildlife and doing practical things to sustain it.”

As part of the event, held on January 24 and 25, pupils also got the chance to draw and create clay models of their favourite species.

An RSPB spokesman said: “Our scientists will add all the sightings together with those from thousands of other gardens across the country to find out how birds and other wildlife are doing.

“Once this has all been checked and pieced together, we’ll be able to monitor trends and understand how different birds and wildlife are faring.

“Then, together, we can help those in danger and find the best ways to give nature a home. The results of this year’s Bird Watch should be available in March.”

More than 300,000 people took part in this year’s event, with 201,000 results submitted and more than six million birds spotted.