WIGAN schoolchildren will be taking part in the biggest survey of birdlife in UK schools this winter.
With up to 2,000 schools taking part each year in the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch, the survey has helped to track bird populations in schools for the last decade.
Running from January 16 to 30, the activity encourages children and their teachers to discover and learn about the birds that share their school environment.
The survey also helps the RSPB build a picture of birds visiting school grounds and the population changes they are experiencing.
Almost 90,000 schoolchildren and teachers stepped up for nature by taking part in the survey last year.
Nearly 3,000 classes from more than 2,000 schools were involved, which was a record-breaking number for the survey.
Since its launch in 2002, more than 70 different species have been recorded in school grounds, ranging from starlings and house sparrows, to kestrels and even pheasants.
Emma Reed, the RSPB’s Education Officer for Northern England, said: “For the past 10 years, we’ve been asking young people to count the birds in their school grounds. As well as contributing to our understanding of the changes in bird numbers, Big Schools’ Birdwatch does a fantastic job of inspiring thousands of children about nature.”
Last year in Greater Manchester, the most common bird spotted was the black headed gull with an average of 5.37 per school.
The blackbird and magpie completed the top three, with an average of 4.03 and 3.72 per school respectively.
For further details visit www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch or ring 0300 456 8340.