You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
Author: Gemma Wells, Community Engagement Officer, Ouse Washes
Last month, I had a brilliant day taking students from Lionel Walden Primary School out into the open Fens to experience firsthand the fantastic work of a nature friendly farm in Cambridgeshire.
Andy and Sarah Coulson, who own and manage Englands and Eatons Charity Farm near Wimblington, hosted 26 inquisitive Year 4 students on the sunny day that kicked off National Science Week. The children were buzzing to discover how the Coulsons were able to grow potatoes and other crops while also looking after farmland wildlife.
While out on the farm, the children spotted deer tracks and signs of badgers, heard a skylark singing and found out all about nature friendly farm features such as ditches and beetle banks. By providing the “Big 3” – nesting areas, winter food and summer food – the Coulson’s farm also provides a safe haven for declining farmland birds such as corn buntings and grey partridges. And a highlight of the day was seeing gleaming hi-tech farm machinery and the seemingly infinite store of potatoes that will soon grace chip shops throughout the country!
Corn Buntings. Credit: Andy Hay (RSPB)
The adventure continued back at school as the children learnt about six very special farmland birds that rely on wildlife friendly farms in Cambridgeshire, and how local farmers have joined together to form the new Ouse Washes Nature Friendly Zone, an area designed to help declining farmland bird populations to recover.
The Ouse Washes Nature Friendly Zone needs a logo! If you are feeling creative, why not join pupils from Lionel Walden Primary School in designing an entry for our logo competition, by thinking about how to represent the natural and farming heritage of the area in a simple picture?
If you’d like to take part, please send your entry on an A4 sheet of paper with your name and contact details on the back to Gemma Wells, RSPB Ouse Washes, Welches Dam, Manea, Cambs, PE15 0NF or email it to email@example.com.
This school trip was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership, whose aims include connecting people of all ages to their local heritage.
To find out more about the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership, visit www.ousewashes.org.uk
Pupils from Lionel Walden Primary School