February, 2015

Skydancer

Skydancer
Get the latest news on our hen harrier conservation work, including the five-year Hen Harrier Life+ project.

Skydancer - the UK's hen harriers

Follow the efforts of RSPB staff during the breeding season, as they attempt to monitor and protect one of England's rarest breeding birds of prey - the hen harrier.
  • The fantastic fundraising efforts of the Liverpool Liverbirds

    Hi, Julie here again, this week I want to tell you all about the fantastic fundraising efforts of the Liverpool Liverbirds RSPB Wildlife Explorers. 

    Leader Elaine Caldwell explains:  “Back in September we held a meeting all about hen harriers to raise awareness about these beautiful birds and the problems they are facing, what the RSPB are doing, and what we as a group could do, to help”. 

    And help they have.  To raise awareness, Tessa made leaflets about hen harriers and sold them to raise £23.44.  Louis, aged 10, and Carys, aged 8, (both pictured below) held a homemade cake sale in their front garden and raised £64.52.

    Louis said “I really enjoyed selling cakes to give money to a good cause”.  Carys agreed: “It was great fun doing our cake sale for the hen harriers and we sold all our cakes.” 

    To collect the money from their fundraising exploits, the group even decorated their own homemade collection tins.  

    Wildlife Explorer member Joel, aged 10, explains why he wanted to fundraise for hen harriers. “When I heard about hen harriers being shot and killed I wanted to do something to help before they are extinct.  I did a sponsored bike ride with my brother Rafferty (aged 7) and we raised some money to send in.” 

    Joel and Rafferty (pictured with their homemade collection tins above) rode over 15 miles between them, and raised £69.50.  John did a combination of bike riding and cake selling at school and raised £40.

    The group have also made a poster with hen harrier facts, played Skydancing games, and made hen harrier habitat collages:

    Liverpool Liverbirds have so far raised over £200, a brilliant achievement!

    Leader Elaine said: “We have been staggered by the money they have raised.  Their activities also helped spread the word about the plight of hen harriers among family, friends, neighbours and classmates, so a great effort and great results all round.  We are really proud of their achievements.  The fact they really got behind the campaign in such a big way shows that young people care about nature and are just as passionate about protecting it for the future too. This a great message for us adults to hear”.

    I couldn’t have put it better myself, well done and a big thank you to the Liverpool Liverbirds - you are all true Hen Harrier Heroes.

    The Liverpool Liverbirds aren’t the only Wildlife Explorers group who’ve been fundraising for hen harriers - both Macclesfield and Leighton Moss RSPB Wildlife Explorers have too.  I’ll tell you more about that soon.

    So, this is the final year of Skydancer and we have lots of great things coming up that I’m really looking forward to telling you about, but what’s happening after Skydancer?  Well, let me set the scene, Blánaid Denman has moved on to project manage a new and exciting hen harrier project funded through LIFE, and with that to whet your appetite I’ll leave Blánaid to tell you more in the next Skydancer blog...

  • Introducing Julie Chrisp

    Hi everyone. This is my first outing on the Skydancer blog so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Julie Chrisp and I have recently started in post as Engagement Officer with Skydancer.  I am absolutely delighted to be joining the team - I’m not completely new to Skydancer, I was involved during the development phase of the project - so it’s great to be back to take Skydancer full circle.   

     

    I started just before Christmas, taking over from Blánaid Denman who had worked in the role since the beginning of Skydancer in 2011 - her time with the project culminating in Skydancer winning Best Education Project in the National Lottery Awards 2014. This was a fantastic achievement by Blánaid and the team and quite some shoes for me to fill.

     

    Over the coming weeks and months I’ll be posting regular blogs to keep you up to date with all the exciting community engagement work we’ll be doing through Skydancer with schools, agricultural colleges, community groups and the wider public and telling you all about the fantastic efforts and activities people are undertaking to help hen harriers.

     

    My first official duty as Skydancer Engagement Officer was to issue Springfields First School Nature Club, near Stoke-on-Trent, with their Hen Harrier Hero Awards.  21 children from year four were presented with their certificates in a special assembly before Christmas.  The children also donated their Nature Club subscription to the Hen Harrier Appeal.   

     

    To gain their Hen Harrier Hero award the group took part in various hen harrier-themed activities.  They drew pictures, wrote stories and poems, made hen harrier posters with five facts about hen harriers that they pledged to show to at least five people. They investigated bird of prey food chains plus the group even staged their own assembly, informing the rest of the school and year four parents about hen harriers.  A fantastic effort I’m sure you’ll agree.

    Image of a female hen harrier

     


    Bird of prey food chain

    Next time, I'll be blogging about the amazing work of the Liverpool Liverbirds RSPB Wildlife Explorers.