It's not uncommon for us oldies to bemoan the younger generations for being addicted to screens or games and for not spending enough time in the outdoors (although we're often culprits of the very same crime ourselves!).Often, we end our lamentations by pondering'but how oh how can we encourage young people to be more aware of conservation and nature?'
Teachers at Weaver Primary School, Cheshire, seem to have an answer, as teacher Claire Greaves explains:
"At Weaver Primary school we wanted my class of 30 children to discover, explore and conserve a wild place and share our experiences… the children [would] complete their John Muir Award and increase their knowledge of the natural world through a series of visits to Wybunbury Moss National Nature Reserve and within local school grounds."
This sounded like such a winning plan that the AK Foundation couldn't resist getting involved by donating funds to support the project. In the meantime, the class at Weaver Primary school have been getting their hands dirty at the Wybunbury Nature Reserve and around the school grounds with activities such as pond dipping, bug hunting, moth trapping, tree clearing, and identifying and discovering nature first hand; recording their discoveries in their brand-new work books. Here's Claire to tell us how they got on…
"Our project was extremely successful. The children loved it and the response from their parents was overwhelming, everyone was so thrilled to be given this opportunity to explore the wonderful outdoors.
The award has allowed the class members to learn about their local area and a rare conservation area which usually cannot be accessed by the public. They developed team work skills, endurance and resilience. They also grew in confidence as they shared their adventures with a large audience using powerpoint presentations amongst other skills."
Having seen the overwhelming positive effects of the award on her class, Claire would wholeheartedly recommend the John Muir Award to other teachers who are looking for ways to encourage their students to get out and about in nature.
The Alpkit Foundationsupports projects that enable people to overcome the obstacles preventing them from Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things.