Children at the independent co-educational preparatory school, set in more than 20 acres of countryside on the outskirts of Harrogate, arrived at school extra-early to record the number, and variety, of birds at the bird table for the RSPB – before tucking into a breakfast of toast and pancakes!
It is the fifth year pupils at Belmont Grosvenor, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, have taken part in the RSPB’s Big School Bird Watch, the world’s biggest bird survey, which aims to provide a vital snapshot of the UK’s birds each winter.
Belmont Grosvenor School, along with its Magic Tree Day Care Nursery, caters for children aged three months to 11. Teachers at the school run a Nature Club and Eco Club for pupils to encourage children to take an interest in their surroundings and the environment.
Visitors to the school’s bird table in recent years have included blue tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, nuthatches, pheasants, chaffinches, robins, wood pigeons, blackbirds, greater spotted woodpecker, dunnocks, magpie, jackdaw
Year 1 Teacher Anne Harrison said all the pupils had been armed with binoculars, cameras and clipboards to record their findings.
“Belmont Grosvenor has the most wonderful grounds, and both the Nature and Eco Clubs are very popular with the children as it allows them to appreciate and make the most of this outstanding setting.
“The idea of the RSPB Big School Bird Watch is to count how many birds are at the bird table at the same time during a specific time. We carry out a survey and then give the results to the RSPB.
“The children really enjoyed taking part and it is a great chance for them to learn about birds, record information, and be part of the RSPB’s survey team. On the day we were also visited by rabbits and squirrels, which fed from the ground and we noticed a progression of visitors – blackbirds arrived first, then robins and the tits and finches,” she said.