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An Update from Swindon Saplings!

We have had a very busy few months and are super excited to update you on what we have been up to!

Firstly, our wildlife pond that we have been working on is very nearly ready for reveal – this will definitely need a post of its own and after another session on Wednesday, we will be ready to show you all what we have managed to achieve!

Last month a few of our families attended a bird ringing event which was put on by the Wiltshire Ornithological Society. It was a very early 5:30am start, but well worth it. Bird ringing uses a selection of carefully placed nets to catch birds – these nets are continuously monitored and stress levels kept to a minimum for the birds. The birds are then weighed, measured and recorded (species, gender, breeding status) and have a little numbered ring placed around their leg before being released. For birds who already have a ring, their ring number is used to identify how old the bird is, where they were ringed and where they have also been caught by using the data base.  This helps to monitor the ages and condition of birds in the wild as well as their migration and breeding patterns. By having this information, it is then possible to identify when particular species may be struggling and allows for support to be put in place, to prevent their species numbers from a further decline.

Interestingly, the affects of climate change can also be noted as new migratory birds are also spotted this way, attracted to the UK by our increasing temperature, or migrating further north than expected. The children got a chance to see some of their favourite birds up close and were given the opportunity to help with monitoring the nets for birds, collect data and releasing them. It has really inspired these children to continue to protect our planet and the environment for the birds and other animals who rely on it so much. We are going to be organising some fundraising for the Wiltshire Ornithological Society to raise money to support their youth projects, to continue inspiring the next generation of bird watchers and conservationists.

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Get Wild Summer Collective 2023 – this our summer project this year that we have just launched, aimed to inspire our group and others to use our outdoor spaces to support the local wildlife and the environment. Members of our group have already started by planting pollinator friendly flowers, putting in small ponds in their gardens, growing their own food…we are excited to see what we can achieve! We have started to share our poster, to see how far we can make this spread and at the end of the summer we can see how our small changes will make a big impact.

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Clearing up our planet – We decided at the beginning of the year we would start up a tally to see how many bags of rubbish we could remove from parks, beaches and other local areas. Since starting this, collectively we have collected 12 bags of rubbish, preventing this from entering our water ways, harming animals and affecting our oceans. We will continue to update you on our efforts!

We will keep you updated!

Swindon Saplings

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