17 November 2010

Snooker superstar Willie Thorne launches new Froglife project!

Snooker legend Willie Thorne is helping us kick off our project for adults and teenagers in Peterborough. The Wildlife Ambassadors scheme is aimed at people of all ages looking for work, education or training, building passion for wild creatures and places.

Based on green sites around the City, the Ambassadors will take part in fun and educational wildlife conservation, craft and education activities. The project starts with a series of taster sessions, and Willie Thorne will be joining the team for a Christmas launch party on Tuesday December 14th.

“The party will celebrate the start of this project to make community sites throughout Peterborough more wildlife friendly,” explains Laura Brady, Wildlife Ambassadors Project Officer. “The aim is to improve both the environment and the job seeking skills of our Ambassadors – everyone wins!”

You can book into the free taster sessions at three sites in Peterborough:
• Stillwells Nature Reserve near Hampton for a willow craft day Tuesday 23rd November
• Van Hage at the Garden Park for pond planting and creating a bog garden Tuesday 30th November
• Dogsthorpe Road Allotments for wildlife gardening and construction Tuesday 7th December.

Book a taster session or a place for the party by calling 01733 425828 or emailing laura.brady@froglife.org. More information is available on Froglife’s website: www.froglife.org/ambassadors

The project is funded by Natural England’s Access to Nature programme (part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme).

15 November 2010

Do you know of a school that wants a pond?

Do you know of a school which is in need of a wildlife pond, to help teach science and to provide good habitat for local wildlife, including amphibians?

Through a new project Froglife can build a wildlife pond for your school whilst also providing expert support, educational resources, health and safety advice and teacher training. This could save your school more than £5,000. The charity is asking for interested schools to step forward…

A £195,500 grant has been earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Froglife towards our Leapfrog project, which will create ponds in eight selected schools in the East of England. Other habitat features (like snake-friendly compost heaps or buttefly banks) may also be created through the project. As part of the development phase of this project, we want to hear from primary and secondary schools interested in having a wildlife pond on their school grounds. We are requesting that teachers or PTA members fill in a simple online ‘expression of interest’ form.

“This is an amazing opportunity for those schools that have long-held plans for a wildlife pond in school grounds yet lack money, and external professional advice, to get things going,” said the project’s coordinator Froglife’s Alex Draper. “This project could also help those schools that may have a dilapidated pond that urgently needs attention or restoration.”

After digging or renovating ponds in selected schools Froglife will then work with local community groups to encourage the digging of other ponds locally, to create clusters of ‘satellite ponds’ that will be of benefit to amphibians, and many other wildlife species.

Schools shortlisted for the project will be in the following areas: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk. If successful the project will start in spring 2011, lasting three years.

NOTICE TO SCHOOLS: To register interest in your school having a new wildlife pond please fill in the following online form BEFORE Tuesday 23rd of November: ‘http://www.froglife.org/leapfrog/expressionofinterest.html

“We’re particularly keen to hear from schools that have good contacts with local community groups and other schools. We’re also encouraging schools that have already discussed internally the merits in having a wildlife pond within the school grounds.”

Froglife will notify shortlisted schools, arranging a short one-to-one over the phone in the next two weeks.

“Please help us by forwarding this message to local schools!” adds Alex.