Hi, my name is Kyle and I have recently started working with RSPB Glasgow as a social media volunteer. In the past few months, I’ve been creating Facebook and Twitter posts to help advertise various RSPB events going on throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas; hopefully raising awareness of the many different ways that people can get involved with the charity and inspiring more people to join the RSPB.
Given that I’m studying Journalism at college, I jumped at the chance to go along to RSPB events and blog about them. The ‘Little Rotters’ event at RSPB Baron’s Haugh in Motherwell felt as good a place to start as any, given that the reserve has been doing a great deal recently to encourage more visitors. Indeed, engaging the local community has become something of a priority, as many people are unaware that the reserve is right on their doorstep!
The focus on getting children inspired by learning about the wildlife living in their back gardens is the thinking behind the Little Rotters event which took place on Wednesday 18 October. Primarily a scavenger hunt to look for creepy crawlies lurking in the woodland undergrowth, the idea was to get the kids to understand the environment around them in order to work out how best to find the beasties.
A fallen dead tree - awesome bug habitat! Photo by Kyle Reid.
Paul Gunn, Assistant Warden for RSPB Baron’s Haugh, had the task of keeping a group of children and their accompanying guardians entertained for a couple of hours in the cold, wet woods. It was a challenge that needed experience and a healthy sense of humour! Luckily, Paul clearly has both in abundance, and for the most part, the children seemed to really enjoy using the assorted equipment to capture the bugs for a closer look.
Identification sheets. Photo by Kyle Reid.
Using a collection kit made up of an aspirator (a contraption used to vacuum up some of the more tricky creatures), plastic containers to observe them in more detail, a white tray to more easily sift through the debris and a clipboard featuring some pictures and a brief piece of information on each species, the challenge was to tick off as many findings as possible in the allotted time.
Surveying underway! Photo by Kyle Reid.
Amazingly, in a surprisingly eclectic collection which included Longhorn beetles, millipedes and different kinds of fungi, it was the worms which proved to be something of a challenge, with no amount of ground stamping tempting them to the surface for most of the afternoon. No matter, because with the majority of the bugs all dutifully ticked off on the clipboards, the group had managed to set a new record for the event. Everyone was happy.
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