Go nuts for Autumn wildlife

Saturday 27th October 2012

Wildlife Watch Awards cpt Emma BradshawWildlife Watch Awards cpt Emma Bradshaw

Children looking for a new way to explore wildlife and have fun over the Autumn can now become true nature nuts – with The Wildlife Trusts’ new Wildlife Watch Awards.

The Hedgehog, Kestrel and Nature Ranger awards aim to nurture the next generation of naturalists by offering a way for children to explore and study nature, whether in an urban or rural setting.

I truly hope these awards help to put the spark that sees the beauty of life in many a young heart

Activities will help transform children into bug hunters and bird detectives, getting them outside into gardens, parks, and nature reserves where they can find out about their local wildlife.  

Awards are earned on completion of a number of challenges, including activities such as:
• Making a mini nature reserve
• Marking and recapturing garden snails
• Making a bat box
• Helping birds avoid flying into windows

With a multitude of wildlife experiences to be had in Autumn alone - from watching migrating birds or roaring stags, spotting colourful fungi or collecting fruits and nuts – online and outdoor activities and challenges completed will be rewarded with stickers, loyalty cards, certificates and  badges.

Chris Packham, passionate conservationist and The Wildlife Trusts’ Vice President, said: 

“As a child and teenager I travelled a regular route to a young naturalist’s paradise.  It led to all sorts of birds’ nests to Grass snakes, Fox earths and Badger setts.  It led in simple terms to the reality of being a naturalist.  It taught me the truths of my trade and I fell in love with them.

“Enjoying nature at a young age and coming to value it really can bring a lifetime of pleasure.  But, as most good naturalists are hooked by the time they are nine years old, I truly hope these awards help to put the spark that sees the beauty of life in many a young heart.” 

Naturalist Nick Baker, also a Vice-President of The Wildlife Trusts, said: 

“How do we get young people to turn off their computers, shut down their virtual worlds and go outside, get dirty and smell the mulch?  We don’t!  Wildlife Watch embraces technology and uses it as a spring board to the real world outside.  It’s a virtual scrapbook, a digital wildlife club, and a place to exchange information, ask questions and record wildlife you’ve seen!  I’m kind of jealous I didn’t have this sort of thing when I was 10!”

Hedgehog Award
The Hedgehog Award offers a simple and fun way to explore nature for everyone.  Choose and complete eight wildlife activities from the list of choices1 to collect stamps and receive a certificate and Hedgehog Award icon. 

Kestrel Award
This Award can be earned by members of Wildlife Watch over the age of eight.  It has four wildlife challenges:  Create it!, Do it!, Record it! and Shout about it!  All involve arts and crafts, observation and recording, developing practical skills and celebrating your work to receive a great badge and a certificate.  

Nature Ranger Award
Nature Ranger is the highest level Wildlife Watch award, to be completed only after the Kestrel award.  This award is all about becoming a wildlife expert. Children study a UK wildlife or conservation topic and produce a report for local Wildlife Trusts to assess.  Everyone who completes this special award receives a certificate signed by passionate conservationist and wildlife hero Chris Packham, a badge, a website profile icon, a mention in Wildlife Watch magazine and a special prize!

Children and families who want more can join Wildlife Watch as a full member through local Wildlife Trusts.  Members receive a fun-packed folder of wild stuff plus four issues of Wildlife Watch magazine every year.  Each issue comes with a free wildlife poster and is full of wildlife stories, pictures, puzzles and competitions.  Members also find out about local activities and events.  There’s no better way to discover your local wildlife and how you can help to protect it.

The Wildlife Watch Awards
Information about how to take part in the Nature Ranger award is provided on completion of the Kestrel award.

 1Hedgehog Award activities might include going moth-watching, helping with the recycling, growing flowers for bees and butterflies, visiting a nature reserve, writing a story about a wild creature, making a model of an animal, planting a tree, taking photographs of wildlife, making a mini-beast home, going for a walk in a wild place, making a collage out of natural objects, growing vegetables, making or putting up a bird feeder etc.

Wildlife Watch www.wildlifewatch.org.uk 
Wildlife Watch is the junior branch of The Wildlife Trusts and the UK’s leading environmental action club for kids.   There are 150,000 Wildlife Watch members around the UK (and the Isle of Man and Alderney too) and hundreds of local Watch groups where young people get stuck into environmental activities.  Wildlife Watch members receive an exciting membership pack. Click here to take a closer look at what Wildlife Watch members get.

Wildlife Watch has a YouTube channel which features ‘How to’ videos for budding naturalists, and an exclusive water vole game where you fight for survival against fearsome foes like the tawny owl.   Users can also download illustrated activity sheets and search an online wildlife database of over 800 plants and animals.  Registered users of the website can also expect regular monthly e-newsletters, packed with activities and suggestions for getting close to the wildlife in their local area.

• Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/WildlifeWatchUK
• Rock ‘n’ vole:  www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/Games
• Download fantastic activity sheets: www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/Activity-Sheets
• Wacky wildlife ringtones: www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/Downloads
• To find out how to join Wildlife Watch visit www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/Membership

Tagged with: Wildlife Watch