Schools get chance to take part in Big Birdwatch

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Woodpigeons, blackbirds and house sparrows are at the top of the checklist for children across Bedfordshire as the world’s biggest schools’ wildlife survey begins.

The RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch is running until February 23 and provides a chance for children to put down their books and get outside to experience and learn about the nature that lives nearby.

The Birdwatch involves children spending an hour watching and counting the birds that visit their outdoor space, before sending the results to the RSPB.

A recent survey of 200 teachers and 1,200 school children from around the UK revealed that 96 per cent teachers believed it was important for children to experience nature at school, while 77 per cent of pupils agreed. With close to a million school children taking part since its launch in 2002, the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch is the perfect opportunity for pupils to get outside, learn and make their first discoveries in nature.

Last year, more than 1,800 children and teachers in Bedfordshire contributed to the 73,000 who took part nationally, counting over 100,000 birds across the country.

Sharon Sanderson, RSPB education, families and youth manager in the east, said: “The Big Schools Birdwatch is the chance for children to get a taste of the wild side where they live and go to school. It’s fun, easy and simple to set up, it works for all ages, and even if it’s a dull, rainy day you can still gaze out of the classroom and see a flash of colour.”

To take part, visit