It’s all eyes to the skies for RSPB birdwatch

Pupils across Scotland will be taking part in the RSPB Big School Birdwatch.
Pupils across Scotland will be taking part in the RSPB Big School Birdwatch.

Schoolchildren across the Borders will can swap books for binoculars this term and take part in the UK’s biggest schools wildlife survey.

The RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2017 takes place during the first half of the spring term, with schools able to take part from now until February 17. The survey helps children discover the wonderful wildlife they share their school grounds with, whilst providing a helpful insight into which species are thriving or declining.

According to research conducted by the RSPB, one in five children are disconnected from nature. Big Schools’ Birdwatch aims to inspire children to care about the natural world around them in the hope they’ll want to help protect it for future generations.

Last year almost 7,500 pupils from schools all across Scotland took part by counting the birds that visited their school grounds, and it is hoped even more will take part this year.

Over the years, more than 70 different species have been recorded in school grounds, ranging from starlings and house sparrows, to red kites and green woodpeckers. In Scotland the blackbird remained the most common playground visitor in 2016 with 86% of participating schools spotting one.

To register to take part in the 2017 RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, visit rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch. Everything schools need to take part is available.