10/04/2018 in RZSS
The saying goes that March ‘comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb’. This was certainly true for the Wild about Scotland team this month, having started the month braving the ‘Beast from the East’! After surviving the snow, we travelled to Fife and enjoyed meeting and teaching the kids at Craigrothie Primary School and Newport Primary School, before finishing off the week with a wet and windy drop in session at the University of St Andrews Bell Pettigrew Museum. Thanks to all the families who came along on the day, and special thanks to the museum for letting us spend the day with you!
After the weekend, the real fun began. We had our first island trip of the year ahead of us, and we couldn’t wait to get on the road! We first travelled to Oban and spent the week engaging with fantastic teachers and children from Dalmally Primary, Park Primary, Dunbeg Primary, Kilninver Primary and Easdale Primary. This week saw our first ‘Minibeast Hunt’ of the year at Park Primary, with all collected data being uploaded to the OPAL nature database. Whilst in Oban, we had the pleasure of heading down to Knapdale Forest, the site of the successful beaver reintroduction, to chat with staff from the Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation and Ben Harrower from RZSS. It was a fantastic opportunity to witness conservation in action, and we would wholeheartedly recommend checking out their wonderful visitor centre!
Before leaving Oban, we had to see our wee bus cross the famous Atlantic Bridge in Easdale-the only bridge to cross an ocean! Up, and over, and still intact- success!
After Oban, we were Mull bound! The start of our week was blessed with sunshine and blue skies, perfect weather for white tailed eagle spotting. Mull is one of the best places in Scotland to catch a glimpse of the reintroduced sea eagle, the UK’s largest bird of prey. This sea eagle was hunted to extinction in Scotland in the early 20th Century, but thankfully due to heroic conservation efforts, there are now 100 breeding pairs in the UK.
Whilst on Mull, we had the absolute joy of visiting Salen Primary, Lochdonhead Primary, Bunessan Primary, Tobermory Primary and Dervaig Primary. We also travelled over to beautiful Iona to teach at Iona Primary, and were lucky enough to spend the rest of our afternoon exploring this gorgeous little island, complete with a walk up to Dun I- what a vantage point! Our last few days were consumed with visits to Ulva Primary and Lochaline Primary School in Morvern. Whilst at Lochaline, we had the pleasure of being joined by Keri Langridge from Scottish Wildcat Action. This was a fantastic chance to see first-hand the work being done to monitor and protect the endangered Scottish Wildcat, the UK’s last large natural predator. Morvern is a priority area for the wildcats, and it was brilliant to see the enthusiasm and excitement the kids at Lochaline Primary had for this feline. Keri donated some camera trap equipment to the nature club at the school, in the hopes that they might be able to catch some footage of the elusive Highland Tiger and thus help better understand their range.
Overall, March was a busy but fabulous month for the team, with the rest of the month being spent making exciting plans for our Wild About Scotland Day on April 11th at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo! We cannot wait to welcome families from a selection of chosen charities, including Aberlour, Barnardo’s, CLIC Sargent, Children 1st, Children in Scotland and Circle. As well as this, we will be heading to the Edinburgh International Science Festival next month, so keep your eyes peeled for the bus at Summerhall, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, the Botanics, and North Edinburgh Arts!
See you next month!
Rosie & Annabeth
Wild about Scotland Outreach Officers
Top teacher comments:
“Thank you Rosie & Annabeth and happy birthday Annabeth. The children loved the free gifts.” – Fiona Jarrett, Craigrothie Primary School.
“The presenter Ruth was just brilliant. The children loved her. She was very obviously extremely knowledgeable.” – Mary Nicolson, Ulva Primary School
“Wonderful staff, friendly, enthusiastic, informative and excellent with the pupils” – Susan Adams, Lochaline Primary School
It’s #WorldWildlifeDay! This year were celebrating the iconic Scottish Wildcat. Did you know there may be that there may be as few as 100 wildcats left in the wild, making them even more endangered than the Bengal Tiger! #BigCatTweetOff pic.twitter.com/tkl5fUcv8K— Wild about Scotland (@WildaboutScot) March 3, 2018