TV wildlife presenter Nick Baker came to Warrington and led children on a “mini-beast hunting” adventure.
The star of the BBC’s Ready Wild Show was the guest of Cheshire Wildlife Trust at their “Wild Warrington” Forest School at Moore Nature Reserve.
Children from St Bridget’s RC Primary School got an opportunity to experience a “Wild Curriculum”.
Survival skills were gained through making dens and learning how to select the right wood to create fires, followed by some cookery involving toasting marshmallows over an open fire.
Science is covered through learning how to identify trees and the role they play in supporting wildlife, and the arts are not forgotten through creating art using natural materials and through interpreting insect behaviours through mime and dance.
Jan Shone, people and wildlife team leader at Cheshire Wildlife Trust said: “The school day can provide an excellent opportunity for children to get outdoors and interact with nature.
“Studies have shown that children with easy access to nature are more able to cope with stress in life. Certainly we have seen through our work with schools that our sessions develop children’s confidence and can even lead to increased concentration when they are back in the classroom.”
Nick Baker’s visit formed part of a week-long tour of Wildlife Trust projects across England which are being supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. All the projects showcase a range of innovative approaches to outdoor learning in schools, encouraging children to get out of the classroom into nature.
Jan Shone added: “We work with 5,000 children across Cheshire each year, giving them opportunities to learn more about nature.
“Nature needs to become a more central part of school life, and our Forest School is one way this can be achieved. We were delighted that the support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery has meant that we are able to expand our projects into Warrington. We hope that Nick’s visits across the UK will help to show that there’s no one way to do outdoor learning. Schools can use time outdoors to teach maths, English and PE – and the children enjoy it too.”
Nick Baker said: “It is so important to get children connecting with nature on a regular basis, it’s been proven to have both mental and physical benefits as well as improving confidence and self-awareness.”