Today is Big Schools Birdwatch, a national event that invites educators from across the UK to reinvent their classrooms into little labs for their young conservation scientists, tracking birds up and down the country. All data collected can be submitted to the RSPB to contribute to the study of wildlife. The classes get to see how their research is contributing and see the positive impact data collection has on conservation studies.
Here at Harper, this is a practise we undertake for studies and research, identifying certain species as indicators of sustainable environments, cleaner habitats, and better conditions for reproduction. Elise Sutton, a fourth year Countryside Management student, spoke about the importance of habitats saying, "There is a great challenge in conservation as you have to consider the practical elements of protecting habitats and species as well as understanding the statistics. On my placement, I was working within a wetland environment to encourage a declining bird, the lapwing, by having longhorn cattle in the habitat. As they declined 60% in the last fifty years, it was amazing to see the improvement in just a year by teaming up practical work alongside the data I was collecting."
The Big Schools Birdwatch website is full of facts for students to access information and learn, perhaps for the first time, about conservation and wildlife. One of the more interesting pages centres on the albatross and how they are near extinction. With easy to access language, children are given the opportunity to learn about these birds and how their voices can make a difference in drawing attention to the issue.
In doing such events, children can experience what it means to be a conservation scientist and be inspired to pursue this as a career of which Harper Adams can be a helping hand in achieving such goals. Our Harper on Tour team regularly visit schools to talk about degrees that matter. To find out more about how you or your school could work with Harper Adams, check out our Work With Us page here.