A communities connection with local bird life is set to grow after pupils from Winterbourne Girls school in Croydon produced a bird board to be placed in their local park. Visitors to Thornton Heath Recreation ground in the north of the borough will be encouraged to identify the sights and sounds of the varied bird life in this urban green space. 

Image courtesy of Paul Macy who helped coordinate the project

With help from the RSPB and Croydon Voluntary Actions Family Power initiative, the girls have studied a wide range of birds and shared their learning with the wider community.

Teacher Judith Hibbs who led the project is delighted by the girls work and the interest it has generated;

‘This project has been a wonderful way to engage the children's interest in their community since we use the park on a regular basis to walk to swimming and then to enjoy our healthy snacks in the community garden. They were thrilled to be able to learn more about "their" birds and then to identify some of them  on our field trip to compare the busy sounds and sights of Thornton Heath High Street with the peace in the park.  They were convinced that almost all of the thirteen birds we had described on the board were in the park on the day of the field trip!’

The school hope to develop links further after a talk from RSPB volunteers to the girls which left them with lists of birds that the children can spot when they are at home or out and about and then send back to the local birdwatching group. The school also hope that visitors to the park will respond to the invitation on the bird board to tell the children (via the school website) if they have seen any other kinds of birds in the park.