All of a flutter for free pollinators and predators project

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Pollinators and predators (credit: Western Power Distribution)Pollinators and predators (credit: Western Power Distribution)

A fun and free new pollinator project from Avon Wildlife Trust is spreading out to schools in South Gloucestershire.

The Pollinators and Predators Project, which is funded by Western Power Distribution, is going to 12 schools, including those in low-income areas.

Pupils explore how pollinators, such as moths, and their predators, play an essential role in nature.

Investigating moths and bats, children find out about the delicate balance in the relationship between prey and predator as well their role in the wider ecosystem.

Pupils take 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. And the children will also learn about bats.

The half-day activities run throughout May and June and are linked to the National Curriculum.

This project raises awareness of the global decline in pollinating insects, due to pressures, such as habitat loss, pests and disease, agricultural practices and climate change. The pollination services they provide are 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 Learning Development Manager Jo Morris commented: "Nocturnal wildlife is so fascinating and children love to find out more about them.

"We are delighted that thanks to the support of Western Power Distribution we have been able to offer schools in South Gloucestershire free half-day sessions.

"There will be interactive talks, games and other activities, raising awareness of these valuable creatures and the plight of pollinators, as well as finding out more about natural predators."

Jo added: "Avon Wildlife Trust aims to give every local child the chance to experience wildlife close up. Many schoolchildren and teachers have already been involved in some of the Trust's 'Wild Schools' projects including a free filmmaking competition, the Spawn to be Wild eel project or have visited our Folly Farm education centre, or one of our 36 nature reserves."

Community Liaison Officer for Western Power Distribution (WPD) Tracy Carr commented: “ Sitting in on the session at Tyndale clearly demonstrates the fun and knowledge the children gain from these interactive sessions. I am delighted that WPD continues to support the Trust with their valuable work.

Avon Wildlife Trust's Pollinators and Predators Project is going to 12 schools including; Hanham Abbots Junior School, Longwell Green Primary School, Severn Beach Primary School, St Peter's VC Primary School in Pilning.

Follow these links to find out more about: our educational work, our 36 reserves and how you can support us by becoming a member.

Moths and bats fact file:

• The hairy bodies of moths make them fantastic pollinators and they can pick up pollen from any flower that they land on;
• Moths and butterflies are insects which together form the order called Lepidoptera, meaning 'scaly-winged';
• The patterns and colours of their wings are formed by thousands of tiny scales, overlapping like tiles on a roof. These can easily be dislodged so it is best not to touch their wings;
• Butterflies and moths hear sounds through their wings;
• A cecropia moth has the ability to smell his mate up to seven miles away with its feathery antennae;
• The sphinx hawk moth is the fastest moth in the world, capable of reaching speeds of over 30 miles per hour.