Going Wild about Scotland through August!

September 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Project manager Ruth Fraser and camera-shy admin assistant Karen Swift on the phone!

Project manager Ruth Fraser and camera-shy admin assistant Karen Swift on the phone!

While the schools were still off we spent the first half of August beavering away in our office at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, preparing for the coming year. We have laid out our plan for the year as we continue to take our Wild about Scotland bus to schools throughout the country. Over the summer we welcomed two new members of the team. Karen Swift, based in the office, will be dealing with school bookings. So if you request a visit you’ll likely speak to her first. Ruth Fraser is our new project manager. Ruth has been an RZSS Senior Education Officer at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo for many years and has previously been involved in teaching school groups visiting the Zoo, running the Zoo’s summer school and has worked on a linking project with schools in the Falkland Islands.

Wellies at the ready for searching for mini-beasts!

Wellies at the ready for searching for mini-beasts!

We also developed a brand new session, ‘Endangered Animals’, in which children uncover clues about the main threats to wildlife in Scotland. They then think about how they could change their everyday behaviour to have a positive impact on the environment.

We kicked off our first week of the new term visiting schools close to home in Edinburgh, West Dunbartonshire and South Lanarkshire. For one lucky class of P1s we were there for their very first day of school. Hopefully we didn’t get their new uniforms too muddy looking for mini-beasts! We spent the last week of August in the Highlands, visiting schools around Inverness. It was a great week surrounded by purple hills and lots of red squirrels.

On 29 August we celebrated our first birthday. Marking one year since the project launched at St Paul’s Primary School, Whiteinch. 141 schools on and we’re still going strong!

Heather-covered hills near Drumnadrochit.

Heather-covered hills near Drumnadrochit.

As part of our focus on local biodiversity, we made some short videos showing how to make your school grounds or garden a better place for wildlife by building a simple bird feeder, a mini-beast hotel and a pond in a bucket. We were lucky to have a fantastic wildlife filmmaker Barrie Williams help us out and we filmed in our newly created wildlife garden at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. Watch this space for their release!

See you next month,
Jamie and Lindsay

From the driver’s seat

WaS_DriverEach 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.

New term, new year, new destinations. Looking forward to them all. First week went well in the central belt, although I always find navigating through Glasgow a challenge! The roads are always busy and many low bridges to avoid and one way systems – not for the faint hearted. The recently opened extension of the M74 is great for accessing west Glasgow – helps a lot!

It was great to see the friendly faces of the team again after the summer break. During the break the bus had been for a full service and safety inspection. Thank you for the good work Graycoll. All ship shape and ready for the miles ahead…

#Brodie knows best


Scotch Argus butterfly, found near Drumnadrochit

Scotch Argus butterfly, found near Drumnadrochit

Brodie’s mini-beast of the month

Brodie’s mini-beast of the month is this beautiful Scotch Argus butterfly found near Drumnadrochit. As the name suggests it is native to Scotland. In England it is only found in two colonies in Cumbria. It can be distinguished from the similar Mountain Ringlet butterfly by the white centre of its eyespots.

Top teacher comments and Tweets



Next month- September

“The Wild about Scotland project linked well to our Outdoor Learning Programme”
Cathkin Primary School

“Children enjoyed searching habitats and were very excited discovering the insects” St Francis Primary

“Children enjoyed rummaging for beasts and then examining them through the magnifying glass”
St Francis Primary

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