Pupils from 500 schools have gone ‘Wild about Scotland’!

Posted: 30th November, 2017

The Wild about Scotland outreach programme has recently celebrated it’s 500th school visit! To mark such a momentous milestone the team returned to St Paul’s Primary RC School, which was where the programme was launched back in September 2014. St. Paul’s will play host to the ‘Wild about Scotland’ bus, a specially designed mobile classroom aimed at teaching children about Scotland’s endangered species and how to protect them.

Since the launch, the Wild about Scotland programme has:

  • Visited schools and public events across all 32 local authorities.
  • Engaged with over 70,000 people including almost 40,000 pupils.
  • Given over 1,000 trees to schools to plant in their grounds.

The Wild about Scotland team is on a mission to travel the length and breadth of the country, engaging children with Scotland's amazing native wildlife. The aim is to connect children with the nature on their own doorstep with a view to creating a lifelong appreciation and respect for wildlife and the environment.

The award-winning programme is run by the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland (RZSS) and is supported by Clydesdale Bank. Pupils took part in a variety of interactive and fun sessions which focused on Scottish native species, their habitats and how RZSS is helping to conserve them. The sessions, delivered by a dedicated education team from RZSS, include the following topics;  

  • ‘The Bonnie Beasts of Scotland’ – Introducing amazing Scottish animals and their habitats found across our country.
  • ‘Marvellous Mini-beasts’ - Engaging pupils with the wildlife found on their doorstep as they go on a mini-beast safari in their school grounds.
  • ‘Beavers and Wildcats’ – Exploring the basic ecology of beavers and wildcats, the successful re-introduction of beavers into Scotland and what is being done to help save the Scottish wildcat.
  • ‘Seas, Forests, Mountains and Moors’ - Looking at the main habitats in Scotland and discovering how animals are adapted to each habitat.
  • ‘Endangered Animals’ - Focusing on the main threats to wildlife in Scotland and what personal action can be taken to help.

Barbara Smith, CEO of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “Conservation through education is one of the founding principles behind the Society and remains one of our key goals to this day

"It is very exciting to see the project reach such a momentous milestone and return to the first school the bus visited to celebrate. It really shows that our focus on wildlife education has had a huge impact across the length and breadth of Scotland reaching over 40,000 pupils across all 32 local authorities. It is vital that we reach out to teach young people about conservation work and the species on their own doorstep. We hope to see this successful project continue to help inspire children all across Scotland for the foreseeable future.”

Helen Page, Group Innovation and Marketing Director at Clydesdale Bank, said:

“Reaching out to 500 schools to help pupils understand more about Scotland’s wildlife is a wonderful achievement. Clydesdale Bank is proud to work in partnership with RZSS to deliver this to schools across the country.”

The corporate partnership with Clydesdale Bank is the biggest in RZSS’s history and includes significant support. The partnership is helps support the delivery of the programme by RZSS’s outreach education team as it travels across Scotland to as many schools as possible.

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