Going Wild about Scotland through December 2017

16/01/2018 in RZSS

Our final weeks of 2017 were spent out on the road visiting Hatton Cruden, Carstairs Junction, West Mains, Wester Overton, Deerpark, Menstrie and Borestone primary schools. Thank you to all the pupils who came on board and those who took part in some fabulous assemblies in some very festive school halls! We would also like to say thank you to Laura Curtis-Moss from RSPB who came out with us to visit schools and find out all about the Wild about Scotland programme.

This month we took part in a brilliant Teachers Day at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. The Discovery and Learning department showcased the fantastic new lessons they have launched for 2018. It was great to speak to teachers directly about what we can provide for them and hear the positive feedback they had for the Wild about Scotland programme.

We also were at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park to meet with project officers from Scottish Wildcat Action about working together in the future and spreading the message about one of our favourite Scottish animals.

This month we also sadly say good-bye to Morna who is off to pastures new. Thank you for bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the programme, especially in developing our new lessons launching in 2018! We wish you all the best for the future : )

We’ve been looking back at what a fantastic year 2017 has been for Wild about Scotland. Here are some month by month highlights …

January - We were lucky to take part in some fascinating training from past colleague Polly Phillpot all about lichens of the Celtic Rainforest. These are some seriously underrated organisms with an incredible array of names and uses! Thank you to Polly and Plantlife Scotland! We’ve also been lucky enough to work with several other amazing conservation charities this year including Marine Conservation Society, Froglife, SSPCA, RSPB and Scottish Wildcat Action. It’s great to see such amazing work being done to protect wildlife in Scotland and across the wider UK.

February - We were invited to attend the Scottish Environment Link week at Scottish Parliament. We had a great time meeting with MSPs, discussing our programme, and sharing the work we are lucky to be a part of. It was a great day out!

March -  Our first mini-beast sessions of the year were in March. They took place on a very cold, very frosty morning but that didn’t stop us or students from St Benedict’s in Glasgow getting out and finding critters in their school grounds. We love getting outside and a bit muddy on the hunt for wee beasts!

April - Over Easter we were involved with the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Over 1,800 people hopped on board the Wild about Scotland bus during the two-week event. The bus and team were set up at three locations across the city including the Grassmarket with fantastic views of the castle, at Summerhall and at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. We also welcomed five new wonderful volunteers to the team, a big thank you to them for all their help throughout the year!

May - May was spent exploring part of the famous Route 500 and onto the Orkney Islands, where we were privileged to see some puffins- a lifelong dream for Rosie! This year the bus and the car have made it to the Isle of Skye, Islay and the Orkneys, the car has been even further over to Jura and the team further still to Mull, Iona, Raasay, Easdale and Hoy!

June - The Wild about Scotland Community Day was a big highlight of the year. Thanks to Clydesdale Bank we invited 400 family members to RZSS Edinburgh Zoo to take part in our Bonnie Beasts of Scotland show, help wildlife in the Wild about Scotland Garden and spend time with each other at the zoo!

July -  Schools were out and we were on the road at events across Scotland. We’ve had a total of over 70,000 people engage with us since the programme was launched in 2014!

August - With the school holidays in full swing we had a busy month in August. We also took part in a beach clean with the Marine Conservation Society at Musselburgh beach. It was great to get out and about doing our bit to protect one of Scotland’s most important habitats.

September - In September we were in Inverness for the week so took a trip to the iconic Loch Ness. We are privileged to travel the length and breadth of Scotland, from the southern Scottish Borders, the western Outer Hebrides, Shetland Islands to the north and this month our most easterly school visit to Hatton Cruden Primary School.

October - In the October break we were at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park for at the Royal Society of Edinburgh family fun day.

November - We reached a huge milestone this year with our 500th school visit! To celebrate we went back to St Pauls RC Primary School (Whiteinch) - the first school that the bus ever visited. It was great to take the programme full circle and celebrate all the things we have achieved.

December - During our trip to the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, we were lucky enough to see the park and its animals enjoying the snow- worth a visit if you get the chance!

 

We are looking forward to what 2018 will bring for outreach at RZSS!

See you in the new year,

Rosie & Morna

Education Officers

 

Top comments from this month:

“I really enjoyed the set-up on the bus. The children were all engaged and learned a lot. Good written and visual information”- Ms Hannah, Wester Overton Primary School

 

“Hands on artefacts- children so rarely have a chance to actually touch these sorts of things. Very patient with an excited school on Christmas jumper and Christmas dinner day!” Ms Lamont, Borestone Primary

 

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