My name is Eleanor but most people know me as Ellie.
I have always enjoyed being outdoors since I was a young child and believe that all children should have the opportunity to be involved and learn about local wildlife and nature. I am currently training to become a primary school teacher at University of Worcester and I have been a volunteer at RSPB Sandwell Valley for a year. I joined RSPB Sandwell to spend more time with children and the outdoors. I have learned many things whilst volunteering and I aim to pass my knowledge on to the children I teach. I help out at Wild Wednesdays which take place 11:00am – 3:00pm, each Wednesday during the children’s school holidays throughout the year. Children attending Wild Wednesdays enjoy many outdoor activities including: pond dipping, bug hunting, den building, campfire cooking and outdoor crafts. Each Wild Wednesday session costs £5 per child (£4 for members) and will contain 4 themed activities. The children will have the opportunity to take away something they have made and receive a prize once all 4 activities have been completed.
Wild Wednesdays are a great opportunity for children to have fun, learn something new and proudly ‘show off’ the bug or creature they have found. I must admit that my bug identification skills are not the best but I am always learning new things along with the children. I love pond dipping, I think that it is my favourite activity to carry out with children as I always get excited when I find something moving in my net. This is also a highly popular activity for the children (and parents!) to enjoy. There isn’t a better feeling than catching a newt or a backswimmer and giving them a name! Newt-y has been a popular name this year.
Recently the weather hasn’t been very nice but children have still found many bugs in the mini-beast meadow and interesting creatures in the pond. Bad weather does not put the volunteers off at RSPB Sandwell and families are always welcome to bring a picnic (indoors or outdoors!), have fun, and learn something new.
Here are the upcoming themes for Wild Wednesdays during the rest of the summer holiday:
Wednesday 16th August – Pond-Dipping
Wednesday 23rd August – Bug-Hunting
Wednesday 30th August – Mammals
Come along and have some fun. I look forward to seeing you!
- Eleanor O'neill