I’ve written before about some of the conservation activities that you can join in with along side your kids. I wanted to talk a little about one that’s going on right now and that you can take part in for the next week (it started mid July and runs until August 7th 2016 so still time to get involved!)
The Big Butterfly Count is run by the Butterfly Conservation society and if you are hoping to encourage your kids to be out in nature and have an appreciation for our wildlife, but perhaps they’re a little squeamish about bugs and beasties, then this is a great introduction. Most people are ok with butterflies and can appreciate them without getting scared, so it’s a perfect way to get started with wildlife surveys.
Can you really do these with kids?
Yes! The amount of data that the survey is asking for is really simple and so perfect for kids to get involved no matter what their age. Adult supervision is of course recommended so that you’re getting accurate results, but it’s absolutely a great thing to do with kids. Not only are you getting yourselves outside in to the fresh air and learning about the butterflies, but you’re also doing great work and helping with their conservation which is amazing.
How to get signed up?
The Big Butterfly Count in 2016 runs from 15th July to 7th August. In order to sign up go to their website here and download the chart that they provide. They also have an app that you can download if you’d rather go a bit more high tech! Once you have that you’re ready to go!
What do you need to do?
Choose a time of day you’re going to go out and do a count and stay in the same vicinity for 15 minutes. Good places to try are either your garden, a park or other wild area. Make a note of what species you see in the time frame. Remember if you see none that it’s still valid data and can still be submitted.
When you’re finished, upload your findings to their website! That’s it – good deed done for the day!
If your kids enjoy this kind of activity and helping out wildlife charities then keep an eye out for the RSPB’s garden birdwatch in early January and check out some of the opportunities to learn and help out here.