Dunhurst take part in the RSPB Big Schools' Birdwatch

Posted on 06th February 2019

Pupils at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst had the opportunity to get closer to nature last week, as they took part in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Big Schools’ Birdwatch for a fourth consecutive year.

For the entire week commencing 28 January, pupils spent their Outdoor Work Lessons learning about birds, birdwatching around the Bedales estate, making bird feeders and studying the action from cameras installed in the school’s bird boxes.

Dunhurst’s Outdoor Work department also encouraged parents to take part in the charity’s Big Garden Birdwatch, which is now in its 40th year.

Participants for the Birdwatch schemes observe birds in their garden or around their school grounds over a period of days and report their findings back to the RSPB, who use the data to monitor trends and changes with birds.

Since the scheme was introduced, the charity has reported that half of Britain’s sparrows and some three-quarters of its starlings have disappeared, while blue tit numbers have risen by 20 percent and the woodpigeon population has increased by a whopping 800 percent.

Pupils at Dunhurst took part in the ‘official’ birdwatch on Friday 1 February and confirmed sightings of blackbirds, blue tits, coal tits, dunnocks, great spotted woodpeckers, great tits, house sparrows, long tailed tits, robins and woodpigeons.

Head of Outdoor Work Ryan Walsh said that Dunhurst’s outdoor offering provides pupils with an extensive opportunity to explore nature.

“The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a popular national event with lots of schools taking part, but at Dunhurst we’re fortunate enough to be able to dedicate a full week of lessons to it in Outdoor Work, with every pupil in school making a bird feeder and taking part in bird-related activities. It was great to see every pupil involved in helping birds through the tough winter months and they were all very enthusiastic about supporting the RSPB.”