Thursday, 8 May 2014

Pollinators and Predators

 This month has been a very exciting time for the learning team at Avon Wildlife Trust.  We've had a busy time with lots of day and residential visits to Folly Farm Centre, Spawn to be Wild schools are doing a great job in rearing their eels and learning about sustainability AND we have also launched our new project Pollinators and Predators. 

CHILDREN in 12 local schools are discovering more about the fascinating lives of pollinators and predators thanks to Avon Wildlife Trust and Western Power Distribution.

Tyndale Primary School students with Cathy Mayne, AWT education officer (left)
and Tracy Carr, Weston Power Distribution (right)
Pollinators, such as moths, and their predators including bats, play an essential role in nature and there is a delicate balance in the relationship between prey and predator. 
Schoolchildren are taking part in games and learning activities inside and outside of the classroom as well as seeing live moths, which have been humanely trapped in their local area. The half-day activities are running throughout May and June and are linked to the National Curriculum.  Our project which is free to schools, thanks to the support of Western Power Distribution, raises awareness of the global decline in pollinating insects due to pressures, such as habitat loss, pests and disease, agricultural practices and climate change.

Did you know that the hairy bodies of moths make them fantastic pollinators; or that they hear sounds through their wings; or that the cecropia moth can smell its mate up to seven miles away with its feathery antennae; and what about the fastest moth in the world? That is the super-speedy sphinx moth which goes faster than 30 miles per hour, breaking the speed limit around schools!  Or that the pollination services they provide are vitally important for our ecosystems and food security, and are estimated to be worth approximately £513 million per year to UK agriculture.  

Avon Wildlife Trust's Pollinators and Predators Project is going to schools in south Gloucestershire including Hanham Abbots Junior School, Longwell Green Primary School, Severn Beach Primary School, St Peter's VC Primary School in Pilning, and Tyndale Primary School in Yate.

Western Power Distribution has worked with the Trust on a number of projects over the years, bringing fun activities to schoolchildren. The company's Community Liaison Officer Tracy Carr even sat in on a pollinators and predators session and was impressed with how much the children learnt, inspired by the fun project.  With the support of companies such as Western Power Distribution, we are able to do so much more for children and communities in and around Bristol and across the West of England.

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