Calling all young nature buffs!

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust are appealing to all young people 8-16 years old interested in wildlife and nature to sign-up to a summer school with the Rutland Osprey Project this year.

The Rutland Osprey Project is offering young people the chance to work with the Rutland Osprey team to learn more about birds and other wildlife at Rutland Water nature reserve, home of the Rutland Ospreys.

A full day of activities will be available at Lyndon nature reserve, on the south shore of Rutland Water, to teach young people about what it takes to be a wildlife conservationist on a nature reserve.

Youngsters will be trained up on how to be a nature reserve ‘expert’, with activities including an osprey study, bird ringing, plus identification of other birds using sight, sound and feathers. There will be a chance to spend some time in a birdwatching hide to see the Rutland Ospreys, with satellite tracking and monitoring of the ospreys described.

Ken Davies, Osprey Education Officer, explains, “These summer schools are a new and exciting opportunity for young people with an interest in the natural world to work at a high level here at Rutland Water. As well as gaining new skills and knowledge, participants will meet similarly motivated young people and well-known local enthusiasts.”

The summer school will be held in July and August, with a choice of two dates for 8-12 year olds and 12-16 year olds respectively.

To find out more and to apply, please see the Rutland Ospreys website: ospreys.org.uk/reserve-expert-summer-school-2019

Each young person wishing to attend the summer school with the Rutland Osprey Project must complete a simple application form and contribute £10 towards the cost of the day. The deadline for applications is 1st April 2019.

Jackie Murray, Osprey Education Officer, adds, “This is a chance for young people to have an enjoyable but informative day with the reserve team. Parents should help their children to send in an application as soon as possible as we have limited spaces available”.

This project is generously funded by the Cameron Bespolka Trust. The Trust was founded in memory of Cameron Bespolka, who died at the age of 16 in a tragic accident. Cameron was a keen birdwatcher who sometimes struggled to find projects and volunteering opportunities tailored for teenagers his age. The Cameron Bespolka Trust organises events and residential courses for young nature enthusiasts, allowing them to learn about birds, nature and the environment and experience the outdoors.

 “Young people, especially teenagers, don’t always have that many opportunities available to them to learn more about the natural world and build on their passion for wildlife conservation,” adds Rebecca Pitman, Senior Reserves Officer at Rutland water nature reserve and manager of the Rutland Osprey Project.

“It’s fantastic that thanks to the support of the Cameron Bespolka Trust, the Rutland Osprey Project at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust can connect more young people with nature.”