75,000 children across the UK join forces to protect precious pollinators
205 schools located across all counties within the UK, are celebrating the news that they been selected to participate in the UK wide ‘Polli:Nation’ project – an initiative which supports schools to provide food and shelter for Britain’s pollinating insects. FSC is proud to be a partner in the project.
The 205 selected schools have been handpicked, following an application process that required them to demonstrate how they would like to transform their grounds to support the dwindling population of Britain’s pollinators.
Following today’s interactive website launch, the programme has also been made available for all schools to participate. Access to the website will enable all schools and communities in Britain to independently get involved by using the vast array of free resources available at: www.polli-nation.co.uk
The Polli:Nation project, developed by the charity Learning through Landscapes (LTL), is the result of a collaboration between various wildlife and education organisations. The programme runs over a period of three years and allows selected primary and secondary schools to join forces in clusters of four. Pupils will have direct hands-on experiences; from creating vertical green walls and night-blooming flower beds, to lobbying to change school maintenance regimes and debating pesticide use.
Schools from all corners of the UK -from Penzance to John O’Groats, and from every nation in the UK - will contribute by developing a variety of projects. Some will aim to protect the UK’s rarest pollinator, the Great Yellow Bumblebee, whilst others will develop orchards, wildflower meadows and spaces for brambles and nettles - which make excellent winter shelter for pollinators.
The Polli:Nation project- funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)- will eventually provide a total of 260 chosen schools with curriculum linked resources, training opportunities for teachers, funds for physical developments as well as ongoing support and guidance from one of LTL’s trained experts. A combined roll of 75,000 children will learn about the different pollinators we depend on and how to identify and survey them, whilst they collect and contribute essential data, which will be used in a UK-wide pollinator survey. A further 55 schools will also be named as participants in the coming weeks.
Organisers LTL, are now encouraging any school that also wishes to get involved, to visit the website at www.polli-nation.co.uk to utilise the free guidance, inspiration, facts, lesson and activity ideas, information sheets, and much more.
David Hodd, Learning through Landscapes’ Project Manager, explains, “The selected schools have proposed some fantastic projects -and we are really looking forward to supporting them in transforming their environments. It will be an incredible accomplishment for 260 schools to make space for our pollinators, whilst increasing numbers and sightings of these insects in the UK. We also hope many more schools join us, by utilising the website for inspiration, guidance, project ideas, teaching plans and much more.”
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This wonderful project enables children to learn about natural heritage and how vital it is for society. Thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to support this work. Having suffered a huge decline in numbers in recent decades, pollinating insects need a helping hand from us, and Polli:Nation is getting a lot of little hands helping- all across the UK.”
The Polli:Nation project has been developed by Learning through Landscapes in collaboration with other sector partners including The Field Studies Council, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, OPAL Imperial College London, Stirling University, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Conservation Volunteers.
Monday, February 15, 2016