Going Wild about Scotland through February

March 23, 2015 § Leave a comment


We’ve had a fantastic February travelling the country aboard our Wild about Scotland bus and spreading the word about Scotland’s amazing wildlife. We visited schools in Edinburgh, Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross, Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.

Pupils-at-Errol-Primary-and-forth-rail-bridge

Pupils at Errol Primary School, Perthshire pose for the local paper and the bus under the Forth Rail Bridge at Deep Sea World

We’ve also visited some iconic landmarks- from Captain Scott’s Antarctic ship RRS Discovery to the Forth Rail Bridge and even a day at Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

At the beginning of the month we opened up the bus for a day at our local aquarium Deep Sea World in North Queensferry. It was a great opportunity to share ideas and resources with their education team and to welcome on board tourists from around the world.

MSP-and-pupils

Top left: Bill Kidd MSP and Chief Whip for the SNP posting
his hope for Scottish Biodiversity;
Bottom left : The NI Assembly Environment Committee;
Right: Pupils from Inverkeithing science club get stuck in!

As part of Scottish Environment Week we were invited to spend a day at Holyrood. We had a prime spot on the pavement metres away from the front door of Scottish Parliament. As well as being open to members of the public we were visited by 12 MSPs, many of whom were ‘Species Champions’ for various Scottish plants and animals. It was great to see their interest in the project and discuss their hopes for Scottish Biodiversity. Another highlight was meeting the Northern Ireland Assembly Environment Committee who were over to get inspiration for their own environment week. Thanks to Scot Link for setting this up and to everyone who we saw this month!

From the driver’s seat

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

February was a good month to try out my newly learned photography skills as we visited some of Scotland’s finest attractions: Deep Sea World beneath the Forth Rail Bridge, RRS Discovery in Dundee and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. To get a good angle of our bus with some of these landmarks I had to drive the bus up onto the pavement (with permission of course!). With rain and dirty roads it has been a challenge keeping the bus looking spic and span- I like to have it freshly washed before our high-profile events and we often have photographers from the local press. Many thanks to the lads at Lothian Bus depot in Longstone who did a cracking job washing the bus before our day at Parliament.

#Brodie knows best

BrodieKnowsBestEach month Brodie the bus mascot answers your questions about science and nature.

Q. What is the difference between a Scottish wildcat and a domestic cat?

A. Wildcats are a generally bigger cat, usually having longer legs and larger heads. The classic way to tell the two apart is by their tails. Although domestic cats and wild cats may sometimes share colours and patterns, the wildcat tail is much bushier with a black, rounded tip. There are thought to be only 400 wildcats left in Scotland and most of these are likely to be a hybrid (mixture) between domestic cats and wildcats. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is carrying out genetic testing of the current populations as well as breeding a captive population in Highland Wildlife Park, near Aviemore.

Submit your questions for next month on Twitter @WildaboutScot using #Brodieknowsbest

Top teacher comments and tweets

“Thank you so much for a fantastic session on the bus. Very informative and the children loved it! The class were completely captivated and engaged” Dens Road Primary School

“Very interesting and engaging session for children of all abilities” Paradykes Primary School

“This was a really enjoyable activity for our children- I’m amazed at how much they’ve remembered!” Errol Primary School

“The Education Officers were very informative, engaged the pupils and kept them interested” Mossneuk Primary School

Next month – March

Next month we continue our tour visiting schools in Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, N. Ayrshire, N. Lanarkshire, Falkirk and the Borders. We’re also stopping in at the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve Loch of the Lowes on the 5th March.

For more information about the Wild about Scotland project and to see when the bus is next in your area, visit our website at www.rzss.org.uk/wildaboutscotland, follow us on twitter @WildaboutScot, or like our Facebook page.

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