RSPBs Wildsquare Phenology & Wildflowers surveys
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Another great home schooling resource is the RSPB Wildlife Explorers Wildsquare. You can sign up as an individual, family, school or group and you take part in surveys that cover a one kilometer square area.
Throughout the year you get indoor and outdoor activities to do, as well as surveys to complete. The surveys involve going out into your ‘wildsquare’ and taking a look at what is going on.
We’ve just completed the phenology survey. For this we had to go out during February, March, April and May to look for signs of spring.
Once you have completed a survey, you upload the results online. These help conservationists to learn about and protect our wildlife and environment. So it’s a valuable way to get your children interested in nature and the rhythms of the seasons.
Calendar and stickers
Once you have uploaded your first set of survey results onto the website, you will be sent a fabulous calendar and sticker pack that you can use to map your progress. In addition, you get access to a full range of downloadable materials such as worksheets.
During our survey, the first sign of spring we saw, according to the survey, was daffodil buds in February.
During March we saw fully opened daffodils, buds on the trees, a caterpillar, a bird carrying nesting material, frog spawn and we heard the cuckoo.
During April we returned to the pond to discover that all the frog spawn had disappeared. We were so sad about this. I know how lovely it is to take frog spawn and watch them hatch but I have heard that once the frogs are fully grown, they try and get back to the body of water in which they came from.
Needless to say, many of them end up dead.
In addition, according to Froglife; by moving tadpoles from one pond to another, you increase the spread of invasive plants and harmful diseases.
The advise is to leave nature to take care of itself. Once you set up a pond at home, it won’t take long for a frog to find it. There is no need to import tadpoles to get the ecosystem running.
Later on this month, we’ll be taking part in a wildflower survey. I’m not sure what this entails yet, so I’ll let you know! Little Miss green went on a wildflower hunt with the local Wildlife Trust group last week, so she will be able to tell me all about the flowers we are looking for, no doubt.
What about you? Have you taken part in any of the RSPB Wildsquare surveys? How did you get on?
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