Leaders from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers ran a selection of education outreach sessions for RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve at schools in Leek. The team visited Year 5 at St. Mary’s Catholic Academy and Springfield Special School. As well as covering the work of the RSPB, the sessions highlighted the importance of wildflower meadows as habitats for a whole host of creatures. Children played games to illustrate the wide range of animals and birds found in meadows and were set challenges to compare the diversity of meadow and rainforest habitats.
There were happy, muddy hands all round as children (and staff!) made seed bombs with a mix of wildflower seeds. Leader Frankie was especially accomplished at getting muddy. By the end of the sessions everyone had their own seed bomb to take home and grow a mini meadow at home.
The Coombes Valley Meadows Outreach Programme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund who provided funding for the Buffer Solution Project at the reserve. This project has allowed the RSPB to purchase an area of land known as Bellpit Meadows and to run lots of community events to help local people learn about the importance of meadows.
The Buffer Solution Project aims to provide a buffer between the woodland on the reserve and the surrounding agricultural land, increasing biodiversity by allowing wildflowers and grasses to grow – attracting butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects as well as creating habitat for birds such as redstart. It is part of a wider effort to connect the local community with the landscape.