Sunnyside Primary School in Alloa

Munching caterpillars head into Scottish Schools

Children across Scotland’s towns and cities are being given the chance to reconnect with nature as part of a new project by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC).

The education project, Munching Caterpillars Scotland, will encourage primary school children to get out of the classroom and experience at first hand the fascinating world of caterpillars, butterflies and moths and their important role as pollinators.

Pupils will take part in bug hunts and butterfly surveys in their school grounds, planting areas to provide food for caterpillars and nectar for butterflies and moths and learning about their life cycles.

The project will run for two years, thanks to more than £57,000 funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and other supporters.

Sunnyside Primary School in Alloa

Sunnyside Primary School in Alloa

This year 14 schools will be targeted across the Central Belt – including areas in Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Glasgow.

Next year another 16 schools will be involved in the project and it will reach into other cities like Edinburgh.

Project Officer, Polly Phillpot, said:

“We’re targeting schools mainly in urban areas as these children generally experience less wildlife – one little boy told me he’d never seen a butterfly before.

“One of the schools involved actually created a green space for wildlife next to their playground. We helped the kids plant here and they can now do more outdoor lessons and activities in future.

“Being outside and enjoying nature is really beneficial to our mental well-being, but it’s also crucial to reconnect the younger generations with the natural world, because ultimately they are the wildlife guardians of the future.”

The Munching Caterpillars team will also be visiting public events across Scotland, such as gardening shows and community wildlife days, providing families with resources and activity ideas to do at home.

Munching Caterpillars workshop

Free training days will also be held for teachers and leaders of local youth groups who are interested in carrying on the work of Munching Caterpillars Scotland.

More information can be found at www.munchingcaterpillars.org or by emailing Polly at @email.

BC has more than 2000 members living in Scotland www.butterfly-conservation.org/scotland where we work closely with local communities, landowners, the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and other conservation partners, to safeguard Scotland’s butterflies, moths and their habitats. We do this by:

  • Advising landowners on managing land for butterflies and moths.
  • Carrying out surveys, monitoring and research on our most threatened species.
  • Training volunteers to enable them to take action for butterflies and moths.
  • Making recommendations to the Scottish Government on its environmental policies.
  • Encouraging everyone to cherish and enjoy butterflies and moths.

If you want to work with Butterfly Conservation Scotland, email the office or call: 01786 447753.

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