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Get the nature bug!

Posted: Wednesday 17th June 2015 by Joe.P

Guy Belding talking to childrenGuardian Angles school at EcoPark

A trip to EcoPark on Monday morning was a real eye-opener for pupils at Guardian Angels primary school, who are benefiting from subsidised sessions there thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.

I don't often get the chance to go out and see our education staff in action, but this Monday I travelled to EcoPark to see how the funding from People's Postcode Lottery is making a difference to our work and the lives of children there. It was a baeautiful bright morning and two minibuses turned up with excited year 6 pupils ready for a morning minibeast hunting and pond dipping.

Firstly, Guy gave them an introductory talk about what we'd be doing and the EcoPark and then we went for a quick tour round through the woodlands, meadows and past the ponds that all create such a wonderful urban oasis for wildlife and the opportunity for children to experience it.

Then, it was time to talk about different types of wildlife that they were going to look for around EcoPark. There were some funny questions from the children about what they might find, but they were all really keen to start looking for different creatures and very few of them were too squeamish at the thought of getting up close to creepy crawlies.

There were loads of wolf spiders crawling around, centipedes, milipedes, beetles of all kinds (including several different species of ladybirds), lacewings and much much more. We also saw frogs hopping around in the undergrowth - so much excitement! With logs lying around and lots of long grass and flowers, the EcoPark really does provide a fantastic habitat for all sorts of minibeasts!

I spoke to the teachers while the children were running around getting excited about their finds and they were delighted with the day and the effect it was having, commenting how children from urban areas like them never really have the chance to engage with nature in this way. They also said for them to all be so focused on a task and engage with it as they were was really fantastic to see.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay for the whole morning, so there was still pond dipping to come, but the trip there gave me a lift and I'm sure that the children felt the same way. We really are grateful for the support from players of People's Postcode Lottery without which this wonderful morning of children engaging with nature wouldn't have happened.

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