A dawn chorus with a difference in Nidderdale AONB

As part of Nidderdale AONB’s The Wild Watch project, local school children will be given the chance to think like a bird and take part in a ‘Bird Choir’.

The Wild Watch project is aiming to engage local people with the wildlife of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, learn new skills and take part in the area’s biggest ever wildlife survey. This will help project officer Alice Crosby find out where wildlife calls home, and how conservationists can give plants and animals a brighter future.

Key to the success of The Wild Watch is inspiring local people about wildlife – and this is where the Bird Choir comes in.


Alice said: Children are quite disconnected from their environment for various reasons. To ensure our work today helps nature tomorrow, we need to inspire our children about wildlife and why we should protect it.

The Bird Choir is a brilliant way to help children learn about wildlife. They record the birds singing in their school grounds and then use the recordings to create a piece of music.


Alice is working with Planet Bird Song to create a unique musical project which will hopefully inspire local children and their families to get involved with The Wild Watch.

The Wild Watch project began this spring, following the award of £295,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The area’s largest wildlife survey will take place during the next three years, focussing on 50 species of conservation concern, from otters to curlews, green hairstreak butterflies to grass snakes.



Working with landowners, farmers and local people, volunteers will seek out where these threatened species still call home, through carrying out wildlife surveys. The information gathered will help create models of where new habitats for these plants and animals could be created which will help boost their populations and halt the decline.


Alice said: This is really important science. but has much wider benefits to society. Local people getting involved with The Wild Watch will develop a deeper sense of how special their area is to wildlife and how we can work together to protect it. They will hopefully make new friends and learn new skills too.


Five local schools will take part in the Bird Choir during the week.

If you would like to get involved or find out more about The Wild Watch, you can visit nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/wild-watch, or follow the project on Twitter @TheWildWatch and Instagram.

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