Hats off to these WILD Schools!

Sunday 3rd September 2017

Summer may be over, but these schools are finding ways to stay WILD and help Manx nature.

There is such a wealth of amazing wildlife and wild spaces here on the Isle of Man. One way to ensure they are protected is to help children learn to value our environment, so they can be the stewards for its future. Manx Wildlife Trust regularly works with school and youth groups to get kids excited about wildlife. Not only that we have a history of embedding nature and science within the curricula on Island over the last 5 years – what better way to discover and learn. We are excited to shout about a couple of schools that are becoming eco-friendlier and doing their part to protect our Island’s wildlife!

Ramsey Grammar School

Under the guidance of their teacher Marion Cottier, pupils from Ramsey Grammar School studying GCSE agriculture and land use, are helping Manx Wildlife Trust to monitor the Ramsey Mooragh North shore ASSI area. Cleverly learning about Protected Areas, Manx wildlife and how we protect it. We are particularly interested in the rare plants, hare’s foot clover (not rare elsewhere but is on Island!), broom rape, a plant which doesn’t have any green chlorophyll so takes its food from the roots of plants around it. We are also hoping for a sighting of the Isle of Man cabbage, which is where it was first described back in the 1660’s.

Not only can this help engage the students about wildlife local to them, it can help gather monitoring data for longer-term trends, and perhaps more - it will help give the students a feeling of ownership and stewardship of the site. This should spread the message about the sites important and help protect it into the future.

The raising of awareness is all the more important with the number of pressures this site feels. The natural can be storms and coastal squeeze, but it is the others we are more worried about. Recreational demand and added problems from dog walking will be monitored for their impact as the path and how it grows over time along with any vegetation changes. The view of the site as scrub and wasteland does not help – both dog waste and dumping of potted plants – but the only way to counter this is through communicating its importance. Some of that comes back to the local children shouting about the fantastic wildflowers and a lot of insects on site, and of course our work with schools. 

Buchan School

Mrs Watterson-Griffiths who runs the eco-warriors group at the Bunchan school is passionate about our environment.

Her goals for the group are, “Children of the 21st Century should be pro-active, compassionate, responsible, appreciative and aware. In order that they can help to reverse the negative impact humans are having on our planet and the environment and to help prevent animal cruelty in all its forms.”

The school has undertaken the following activities to support this view: staffroom waste composting, maintaining a vegetable Garden from which vegetable and fruit are used in school lunches, paper recycling, feeding the birds, eco signage around the school, making bird houses, insect hotels and hedgehog homes are just a few of the many activities on offer. Uniquely, the school has its own beehives and sells the bees wax and honey products, what a brilliant way to spread the messages about our important pollinators.

Want some advice? Get in Touch

We hope you find these stories as inspiring as we do. Here's a list to help you get started making your school more eco-friendly.

Manx Wildlife Trust is always happy to come in and advise the schools about developing their school grounds for wildlife. We also love to hear all about what you, your group or schools are doing to help protect and save our environment.



Tagged with: Eco-Schools, People & Nature, Schools, Wildlife watch