Going Wild about Scotland through September

October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment


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Wild about Scotland Blog – September 2014

We’ve done it! Our first month on board the ‘Wild about Scotland’ educational bus has been a success! 11 schools and two other venues visited. 782 people engaged with and 1,028.7 miles of scenic Scottish roads travelled!

The specially designed interactive classroom, developed by RZSS’ Discovery and Learning team and brought to life through a partnership with Clydesdale Bank, has already been to six different local council areas. Fun and games have been had both in the classes and on the journey itself – we’ve returned with smiling faces and a few tales to tell!

The transformational makeover of the bus donated by Stagecoach, from School bus to Wild about Scotland bus, funded by Clydesdale Bank.

The transformational makeover of the bus donated by Stagecoach.
From School bus to Wild about Scotland bus, funded by Clydesdale Bank.

During September Driver Dave manoeuvred his way through the tightly packed streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow, cruised through East Lothian and Fife, then up to Aberdeenshire before taking on those winding Highland roads. The eye-catching bus stopped at 11 different schools and even managed a couple of pit stops at Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, near Aviemore, and Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness – turning a few heads on the way.

Left: Our wonderful Wild about Scotland Bus team (L/R Jamie, Lyndsay and Driver Dave). Right: Wild about Scotland Bus crosses the Bonar Bridge, Sutherland.

Left: Our wonderful Wild about Scotland Bus team (L/R Jamie, Lyndsay and Driver Dave).
Right: Wild about Scotland Bus crosses the Bonar Bridge, Sutherland.

RZSS Education Officers Jamie and Lindsay, and the ‘Mini-beast’ lesson developed by RZSS, were given the thumbs up by children. Here are what some pupils said:

“You made graphs sound fun! The bus is awesome!” 

“It’s nice to learn about local and Scottish animals and mini-beasts”

And they were even awarded A+’s by teachers!

The best part was “the knowledge of instructors and ability to engage pupils”

“Very well-planned and resourced session”

We even helped a few schools work towards their Eco-Schools Green Flag status, an award which recognises work the school does to protect the environment, because of the great links to biodiversity, conservation and Scottish nature around which the lesson plans are structured.

On our visits some pretty interesting little critters have been discovered in the school grounds. Each month, Brodie the Beaver who is the bus mascot, A.K.A. Brodie the Roadie, will paw pick his favourite ‘Mini-beast of the Month’ from all the insects which have been caught throughout the month. There’s been 23 mini-beast lessons so far, so let’s take a closer look at Brodie’s pick for this month:

MiniBeasts‘Mini-beast of the Month’: Glossy woolly bear caterpillars 

Discovered: By pupils at Hilton of Cadboll Primary School near Tain, Aberdeenshire.

Well done guys, for finding these mammoth beasts!

BrodieKnowsBestBrodie Knows Best! Top Tip from September 

Help encourage mini-beasts to live in your garden by placing twigs under trees or on open soil – a mini-beast hotel for creepy crawlies!

Our Wild about Scotland Bus has also been delivering drop-in sessions and here it is at the Highland Wildlife Park with pupils from Elgin Academy who took the opportunity to come on board when they visited the Park

Wild about Scotland is on Social Media and we’d love you to connect with us and share your thoughts and images about our project and Scottish biodiversity…

Twitterlogo@WildaboutScot     #WildaboutScotland       #RZSS

Facebooklogo   http://www.facebook.com/WildAboutScotland

Bus Driver DavidFrom the Driver’s Seat….

Each month our ‘Wild about Scotland’ bus driver David will give you a wee insight into what it’s like to drive our double decker the length and breadth of Scotland.

“This month I thought I’d begin with a little bit about our bus for starters… it started out life in 1996 in Falkirk and was then used for many years on the roads of Kilmarnock, ferrying children to and from school. Stagecoach donated the bus to us earlier this year and it went all the way down to Blackpool for its makeover into our ‘Wild about Scotland’ bus that you see today. I couldn’t resist getting this photo of our lovely new bus by the Blackpool tower before I headed back to Scotland!

Before we visit your school, I first have to check my handy AA Trucker’s Road Atlas to do my route planning. Having a tall (14 feet 6 inches) and heavy (12 tonnes) bus means I have to avoid all the low bridges and roads with weight restrictions. This often means it takes longer for the bus to get to you than our support vehicle does with the rest of the team. Each day I’m out on the road I have to begin with my early morning checks of the bus to make sure she is ready to go…that includes checking the tyres, lights and indicators, mirrors and windscreen and making sure the bus is spick and span for the first school children to get on board.

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