Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is offering primary schools across Leicester the chance to win a prize worth £500 to help attract wildlife to their outdoor spaces.
As part of its Wild Forest School project, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Trust is running an online survey to find out how teaching staff can be better supported to make the most of their school’s outdoor spaces.
The short questionnaire can be found at www.wildforestschool.org.uk/survey and entries should be made by Friday 22nd April. On completion of the survey, the school will be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win one of three prizes worth £500, which can be used to help develop or improve a wildlife area in the school’s grounds.
Martha Rose, Wild Forest School project co-ordinator, commented: “We hope that the results of the survey will help us to establish how outside spaces are being used for learning, what schools want from these spaces, and what barriers are preventing teaching there. From this data we’ll then be able to identify how we can best support our local schools to provide opportunities to get more children enjoying the outdoors.”
The prize money can be spent in a variety of ways that will best suit the winning schools. Raised beds and minibeast hotels could be installed in schools that currently have limited access to wildlife. Alternatively, maintenance and teacher training could be provided for schools with an existing wild area in their grounds. The funding will cover both labour and material costs and the work will be carried out by the Trust’s expert team of Grow Wild gardeners.
The survey is just one of the many initiatives being carried out by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust this year. The Wild Forest School Project team will be running a number of sessions at primary schools across Leicester, as well as for pre-school and home-educated children. The team will also be holding Wild Play sessions for children and their families during school holidays.
Simon Bentley, director of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, said: “Thanks to the continued support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we can provide more opportunities for the children and young people in our urban areas to enjoy nature. This survey is really important, as the responses will reveal how we can support schools to improve their outdoor learning and get children outside on a more regular basis.”