All this week we are celebrating the amazing milestone of 25,000 children in Scotland starting their own wild adventure in just two years through our partnership with Aldi. In this blog from Rowan Cannell, a Schools’ Outreach Volunteer in Edinburgh, we hear about the experience children get from the 90 minute school sessions and why Rowan enjoys them so much as well.

Why connections to nature are so important

Like many, I have always been passionate about nature and the environment. Since completing my degree I was looking to embark upon a career in conservation, and it was through this search that I found the RSPB Scotland Schools’ Outreach Volunteer post. I was instantly enamoured with the role.

We were in a schools eco garden doing a bug hunt when a child asked, ‘Are you really a REAL scientist?’ to which I replied, ‘Well yes, I studied nature science at university for a long time’, her eyes widened as she exclaimed, ‘I’ve never met a real scientist before’. The rest of the group were quick to declare how they all wanted to be scientists when they were older and my heart began to swell.

I will never tire of the excitement expressed by children when they realise how much nature is actually on their doorstep, and how easy it can be for them to help conserve it. I could write pages and pages of heart-warming anecdotes from my time facilitating Connection to Nature workshops, the list really is endless, and that is exactly why this project is so important. Something as small as 90 minutes talking about and experiencing the nature around them can plant the seed of interest that grows into an ecologist.

The more children we reach, the more young people realise that the environment is everyone’s responsibility, and that if we all take little steps together we can begin to make a real difference. Volunteering on this project has genuinely been one of the best decisions I have made since leaving university. The feeling of satisfaction teaching gives is like no other, and I will continue to pursue teaching opportunities long after I leave the project.  

For more information on the project visit:

You can catch up on the first two celebratory blogs here and here.