18 January 2013

Froglife in Peterborough with Mike Dilger

Following a brilliant event with speakers Professor Roger Downie and Sir John Lister Kaye in Glasgow, our next event is in Peterborough on Monday 21st January with the BBC One Show’s Mike Dilger.

We are celebrating the end of the My Wild Life project and screening a film of interviews about growing up with nature and exploring the great outdoors.  The interviews and memories we collected highlight how important wild animals and wild spaces are for people and the role that adults can play in helping children explore and fall in love with these areas.

Sir John told incredible stories about sharing adventures outside with his daughter, saying "I thought I was teaching her natural history.  Wrong.  She was teaching me, taking me back to my childhood and seeing nature with the awe and wonder of a child."

Mike will be sharing his thoughts on the topic at our Peterborough event, with many people in the audience having taken part in intergenerational sessions sharing memories and comparing experiences.

The young people involved in the project also shared their feelings about taking part and hearing from older generations.  One highlight for some of them was meeting Christine Knighton who turned 101 the day after the session.  Sadly Christine passed away last week and we will be remembering her fondly on Monday.

Our third and final event in the series will be on Friday 25th of January with author and ecologist Hugh Warwick as our special guest.  We will also be formally launching London Dragon Finder at this event, spreading the word about opportunities to take part in this exciting new project.

14 January 2013

Froglife in Glasgow with Sir John Lister Kaye

Froglife is very pleased to be starting the year with a bang with the first of our My Wild Life film screenings at the Glasgow Science Centre on Wednesday 16th of January.

The innovative project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been running intergenerational events to gather memories about early encounters with wildlife and the great outdoors.  Using beautiful picnic baskets packed with memory laden items such as thermos flasks, ID guides, binoculars and snake skins, the project team and volunteers have been bringing older and younger people together to compare and contrast childhood experiences.
Pic-nics, walks and stories - all memories shared during the My Wild Life project
“We have heard some wonderful stories about collecting frogspawn, making fishing nets from tights and getting muddy,” explains project officer Jodie Coomber.  “Analysis of all the memories we’ve collected highlights how important free access to wild spaces is for young people, and how much amphibians and reptiles feature in happy encounters with nature.  It’s another reason to fight for the conservation of the animals and their habitats – their importance in our culture, as well as our landscapes.”
The first event showing a film featuring interviews from the project is hosted by Sir John Lister Kaye, taking a break from filming BBC WinterWatch at the Aigas Field Centre to join us, along with Froglife trustee Professor Roger Downie.   Sir John has written about his own concerns regarding access to wildlife by young people and will be sharing his thoughts.
On the night, we will also be launching Scottish Dragon Finder, and looking for partners to get involved in this exciting programme across the country.  The development phase of Froglife’s Scottish Dragon Finder has now started, also supported by a development grant from HLF. Scottish Dragon Finder will work across the whole of Scotland and during the development phase Froglife is looking for potential partners for the project, including schools, venues and other organisations. Froglife have eight months to develop this project and if successful, the main project will be ready to start in October 2013.

Photo: Jodie Coomber