Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

NatureWatch Is Bringing Young Closer to the Environment

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

NatureWatch Is Bringing Young Closer to the Environment

Article excerpt

NORTHUMBRIAN Water Group's Nature Watch programme is offering an opportunity for pupils at schools across the North East to reconnect with nature and the environment.

The schools are being offered specially developed National Curriculum-based lesson plans, featuring both outdoor and classroom-based exercises, including learning about the life cycle of a butterfly and discussing conservation issues.

Youngsters will also be asked to conduct surveys at their own homes. The results will be added to surveys by hundreds of employees of Northumbrian Water Group.

Northumbrian Water's Nature Watch is an initiative in response to the UK State of Nature report which assessed the trends of 3,148 species and showed that hedgehogs, butterflies and bumblebees were among many creatures suffering dramatic reductions in populations.

To get involved, school staff can visit www.nwl.co.uk/Nature-Watch or contact Jenny Abel on 01268 664911 or email communications@nwl.co.uk.

In 2015, more than 300 Northumbrian Water Group employees and their families spotted 18,858 different creatures, including animals, birds, reptiles, butterflies, amphibians and insects creatures in everything from window boxes, their own or a friends' garden, allotments, nearby parkland and elsewhere and improved habitats to help nature flourish in future.

John Devall, water director at Northumbrian Water, said: "We are really excited about expanding our Nature Watch programme in this way, helping young people to engage with nature and reconnect with the environment.

"The feedback we had last year was that the children who took part in Nature Watch with their families enjoyed getting out of the house and finding out about the thousands of species that exist near their homes.

"By making it a school-wide initiative, we are hoping to take that enthusiasm to a whole new level and help to develop an even greater understanding of our environment and the creatures that inhabit it. …

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