30 days have September, but yet we’re only halfway through and so much has happened.
Here is a little update of some of the exciting things that have been going on in the last few weeks.
B U G N E W S
- This month marks with 10 year anniversary of Buglife Scotland and as one of the ways to celebrate, they now have their own Twitter page! Please follow to see our anniversary countdown of the top 10 invertebrate species we have worked with over the last ten years.
- As part of this ever- exciting and surprising year I will be running a training course in October. This will be based on my two areas of ‘expertise?’, or at least two things which I am passionate about -drama and the outdoors.
‘Integrating Drama and Performance with Nature’ will be a taster workshop designed to give all the resources and information to plan outdoor sessions with groups, and pick up knowledge of how to integrate local wildlife into lesson plans.
Nationally, participation in the arts is dropping each year, and connection with wildlife is also suffering with a recent study showing that 7 out of 10 feel out of touch with nature.
Integrating these aspects – drama and wildlife – for children in a natural setting can have positive results, both in terms of offering a more liberating and imaginative setting and including educational elements of science and nature.
This workshop is structured to allow participants to feel confident in identifying aspects of the outdoors, to be able to incorporate native wildlife, trees and flowers into acting based activities.
Throughout the workshop there will be a chance to try out various warm-up activities, concentration games, imagination exercises, storytelling and character work, plus access to various resources in nature identification, citizen science, theatre and literature which can form part of a lesson programme.
I also want to cover issues such as public speaking, shyness, confidence building and anxiety issues in young people, with the outdoors being an ideal setting to work towards overcoming some of these challenges.
If you want to book on please do so through the Eventbrite page.
H I G H L I G H T S
Schools Reloaded – The Second Stage
As the second stage of Marvellous Mud Snails Buglife project begins, I have completed an Education and Resource Pack to go alongside all the school visits – 30 in total, and public events that I am attending. This has been a work in progress, but is now going through final changes and will be published on the website and a copy given to each school.
It was a new experience compiling lesson plans and thinking up new and innovative activities, crafts and games to keep the children engaged. There is also a section on how to properly care for the snails, how to carry out monitoring and a snail diary to complete. This has been something I am proud to have created, and will be one of the highlights of the traineeship I’m sure.
The Pond Mud Snail is now being left with primary classes across Scotland, they will be in 10 different schools with each class taking responsibility watching them grow and breed. We will be checking on their progress and at the end of term the snails will be released into new habitats which Buglife are creating for them. I have, so far, waved goodbye to 10 snails in 2 classrooms and it’s going to be a manic few months fitting in the rest of the visits! 🙂
Shout out to Deerpark Primary School for a brilliant trip last week, who also have a school cat called Rosie, highlight of the week was definitely hanging out with her in the staff room.
I was back at The Hidden Gardens for a session installing and collecting pitfall traps with Glasgow Natural History Society. This is a great method of being able to create a picture of the invertebrate life in a garden, woodland or other open place which isn’t too time-consuming. Jars, or in this case plastic cups, are put flush into the ground and covered to stop rainwater flooding the inside. Leaf litter is placed over the top and the jar left for 3-6 weeks.
At our site we collected six different cups, and inside was more insect life that I could have imagined. I guess it’s not for the faint-hearted, lots gets caught up in slug slime, they’ve been there for a while and it’s generally a tangle of lots of dead bugs, but we managed to ID some fascinating species.
I was most excited about the Devil’s Coach Horse beetles which I’d never seen up close. A few had managed to survive so we got a chance to see them, infamous abdomen held high in defense as we put them back into the flower beds. There were a few species of snail-eating beetle which the resident gardeners were pleased about, and of course lots and lots of woodlouse!
Until next time…
Be sure to follow what I’m up to on Twitter, and check out TCV Natural Talent for an update on my fellow trainees.
Thanks to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for funding this brilliant programme. Find out more about them here.
Also to Buglife Scotland for hosting my placement. Keep up with all the amazing work they are doing and support the small things!