We caught up with the Nature of Scotland Youth and Education Award 2021 winners.

The Nature of Scotland awards celebrate the people going above and beyond for the nature around them. Last year, Eco Warriors from the New Abbey primary school won the Youth and Education award for their hard work raising awareness of their local environment and encouraging more wildlife onto their school grounds.

 In 2021, these determined primary one-threes created new homes and niches for the local wildlife. “When we were making the toad-hole we used a plant pot, moss, leaves and muck to cover it to make it cosy” Annie (P2) explains. 

 As well as the toad-hole, the Warriors also improved the habitat for birds and pondlife, and made homes for both hedgehogs and invertebrates: “We used broken cups, sticks, moss, hay, bricks, leaves and pallets to make a bug hotel” says Charlotte (P3).

 A collage of different wildlife areas created by the Eco Warriors, including a container pond, bug hotel and hedgehog house.

Wildlife areas created by the Eco Warriors.

And the passion and enthusiasm certainly paid off. One year later, nature has flocked to the school grounds. There are numerous bird species from woodpeckers to nuthatches. In the pond the pupils find frogs, toads, and newts. The hedgehogs remain elusive, but someone has been eating the food left out for them.

 The project also left an impression on the Eco Warriors themselves. “I felt happy because I have been learning new things about nature like kinds of birds” says Eden (P3). Sophie (P1) comments “I felt happy because we were helping nature”.

 

Cleaning and refilling the bird bath.

 Neither the pupils nor the teachers have lost any momentum in their drive to help nature. Habitats are maintained, and food is left out for the birds and hedgehogs: “We feed the birds fat balls, seeds, sunflower seeds, little black seeds (Niger) and peanuts” says Archie.

  

The Eco Warriors have provided a safe haven for nature which they are still enjoying, one year on. If you know a nature hero or group who have done something amazing, be sure to nominate them for a Nature of Scotland award, so we can celebrate their achievements. Visit rspb.org.uk/natureofscotland to find out about our categories and enter online. The submission deadline is Monday 30 May 2022.

Main image: a collage of the Eco Warriors planting, digging holes, and sowing seeds.

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