Spring into Action

Activities for lockdown learning: episode 3

Inspiring conversations

Local: Discover your family’s stories – Linsey Wynton’s ‘Small World’ online tutorials teach all ages how to interview and record the biographical story of a family member or friend.

Local: Take your productions skills to the next level with tutorials and top tips for entering Suntrap Centre’s Home Safari Film Challenge.

Global: This video for children and adults on the ‘Secret for Talking about Climate Change’ gives important tips which are useful for all sorts of difficult conversations.

Small World project – part of WF Virtual Culture Programme
A homemade ScareMow for the No Mow May campaign.
A British Hedgehog. Image from The Ecologist

Connecting with wildlife…

Azure Hawker Dragonfly

Without the noise of busy city life have you been noticing the beautiful soundtrack that the birds provide for your daily exercise or when in your garden?

The RSPB Bird Identifier site has 408 birds organised by key features to help you learn the ID of the birds you see.

Spring Goal:
Identify the birds in your neighbourhood and take part in the RSPB Breakfast Birdwatch, 8 – 9am daily. Share on social media the birds you can see #breakfastbirdwatch

No Mow May: Every flower matters
Join Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May’ campaign to learn to why every flower matters.  
Poor misunderstood ‘weeds’ are just plants in the wrong place with a whole host of uses and benefits for humans and wildlife alike.

Use Plantlife’s spotter sheets to get to know wild flowers growing in your neighbourhood.

Spring Action:
Make a ScareMow to show your support for our wild flowers

It is Hedgehog Awareness Week, 3rd – 9th May. The number of hedgehogs has declined dramatically since the 1950’s to less than 1 million. Find out how you can help our prickly friends the British Hedgehogs and become a Hedgehog Champions on Hedgehog Street.

The good news is there are still populations across the country including London – find out where on the Wild London interactive hedgehog map.

Spring Actions:
Sign this petition calling on the government to ensure that every new housing development builds ‘Hedgehog highway’ holes, so hedgehogs can roam safely between our gardens and neighbourhoods.

Write to your local authority parks team to ask what they are doing to help hedgehog populations. Stopping pesticide use, creating wildlife friendly areas and making hedgehog highway holes compulsory are three things you could ask them to do.

A subject to explore… Peat

Last month was ‘Peat Free April’. These two short videos explain what peat is and why it is important to go ‘peat free’.

It can take over 1 year for peat to grow by 1mm, so is peat a ‘renewable’ or non-renewable’ resource? This article by Friends of the Earth explains why it is non-renewable and gives gardeners a list of peat-free alternatives. This video called ‘British Soil is a Battlefield over Peat’ shows two sides of the argument.

Spring Action:
If you think peat use should be stopped, find out what you can do to support Garden Organic’s ‘For Peat’s Sake’ campaign here

BBC bitesize has a summary of how human activity affects peat bogs and a glossary to stretch everyone’s vocabulary.

Peat harvesting in Ireland

Urban fox. Image: Matthew Maran, NHM highly commended award

Learning resources…

Zoological Society London (ZSL) provide a range of learning activities that link wildlife to their environment, arranged by KS1 – KS4.

BBC Bitesize have a lesson on Urban Wildlife to Spot During Lockdown as well as many other sessions on environmental and social issues – including geography with Sir David Attenborough