The children at Hollycombe Primary School began term in January 2020 thinking about the continued devastating effects of the Australian bushfires as they’re just so tragic. One billion animals species – mammals, birds and reptiles – have died since the wildfires began in September 2019, along with 28 people at last count and 2,000 homes, so it’s good for young people to be aware of what’s going on (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/50986293).
Bushfires aren’t caused by climate change, but are exacerbated by the effects of global warming so extreme weather conditions; droughts, drier soils and record breaking heat that Australia had in 2019 means that wildfires are becoming more common (https://www.cnet.com/how-to/australian-fires-everything-we-know-how-you-can-help-where-to-donate-fundraisers/). This gives some explanation as to why last year also saw ferocious and destructive fires hit the Arctic, Amazon and Indonesia (https://time.com/5754990/australia-carbon-emissions-fires/).
It’s thought that at least 25,000 koalas have died in wildfires in south Australia putting the species at serious risk of survival (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/05/thousands-koalas-burn-death-australia-fears-native-wildlife/), so I wanted to give the kids at Hollycombe Primary, the chance to celebrate these marsupials, along with ‘big foot’ kangaroos, whilst learning about the spiralling effects of bushfires.
In our conservation art club the children loved drawing and creating some illuminating pictures with red and grey skies for fire and smoke, and were intrigued by some of the facts, such as; wildfires in Australia have destroyed land roughly twice the size of Belgium, as well as thick smoke is covering an area wider than Europe as a result (information gained from World Economic Forum’s Instagram). The smoke has blown across to distant New Zealand and covered glaciers making them warm and melt faster which will have big knock on effects, not just to the local, but worldwide community as well (https://pluralist.com/greta-thunberg-australia-bushfires-melting-glaciers/).
The children amazed me by how keen they were to learn about this subject whilst understanding how all things in nature are linked; it’s just simply about cause and affect isn’t it. I heard a couple of the kids explaining bushfires to their siblings when they were being collected by their parents at the end of the day. If this verbal messaging was to be disseminated rapidly across future generations, imagine how much better our combined vision of 2020 could be…For more info please visit www.doodleswithmydaughter.co.uk