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Rangers deliver online mammal project to Caithness schools


By David G Scott

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High Life Highland’s Countryside Rangers will be providing a week of online activities about Highland mammals to schools.

From May 30 to June 3, the activities will be a celebration of the unique and stunning wildlife and biodiversity of the Highlands.

Senior Countryside Ranger for North Highlands Andy Summers said: “The aim of the week is to get pupils involved and look for mammals and signs of mammals in their school grounds and surrounding areas.

Senior Countryside Ranger for North Highlands Andy Summers with primary school children.
Senior Countryside Ranger for North Highlands Andy Summers with primary school children.

“Getting online helps our team of Rangers to work with more Highland children than ever before and support teachers in delivering outdoor and environmental activities.

“We are now in an unprecedented era of biodiversity loss and raising awareness of the recently produced Highland Biodiversity Action Plan will help children gain an understanding of what makes Highland special in biodiversity terms and, most importantly, what can be done to help both preserve and enhance our natural world.

“We’ll be providing videos, challenges and learning materials in our specially-designed Google Classroom and teachers will be invited to join and deliver the activities to their own classes, either in person or via remote learning.”

Andy Summers makes nesting boxes.
Andy Summers makes nesting boxes.

The activities are aimed at P7 and S1 aged pupils, but many of the materials will be of interest to pupils in other stages too. The week will be interactive, and the Countryside Rangers are encouraging schools to share what they have learned, made, or discovered through social media.

Each day a new topic will be launched on the page, with a video to introduce the topic, a quick quiz and a mixture of other activities. The online lessons will remain on Google Classroom throughout the year.

Topics will include hedgehogs, mink, tracks and signs, what you can tell from owl pellets, and activities for getting pupils outdoors.

Otters can be seen in Caithness.
Otters can be seen in Caithness.

There will also be a competition with pupils utilising their newfound knowledge to create a model, artwork, or photograph. The winners will be decided by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the prize will be a class visit to the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig.

Andy added: “Our Google Classroom will be a growing and evolving resource for schools and there’ll be new content and activities through the summer and autumn and we’ll be offering schools the opportunity to book a Countryside Ranger-led outdoor session free of charge.”

For more information and to find out about activities and events on offer, visit https://www.highlifehighland.com/rangers/


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