If you are either a Junior or Family Member of Sussex Wildlife Trust and you are over the age of eight, you can take part in the Kestrel award.
There are four wildlife challenges involving arts and crafts, observation and recording, developing practical skills and celebrating your work (Create it!, Do it!, Record it! and Shout about it!) and you will need to complete them all to gain the award. Once you have completed all four of the challenges you will receive a certificate and badge, most of all we hope it will be really good fun to do and make you even more of a nature enthusiast!
Create it! Record it! Do it! Shout about it!
Write a story or poem inspired by nature or the environment. Create a piece of art inspired by UK wildlife. Participants can decide what medium to use for this, so it could be a painting, a drawing, a model, maybe even a decorated cake! Create a collage, model, or sculpture using natural materials (e.g. sticks, leaves, pebbles, sand or mud).
This challenge is all about recording the wildlife you see by keeping a nature diary. To complete this challenge you will need to:
Choose a place that you want to study. Visit the area at least six times over a period of at least six weeks. You might like to take you time over this challenge and make visits throughout a whole year to watch how the seasons affect your place. On each visit, record the wildlife you see. Notice whether the wildlife in your place changes over time or whether it stays the same. Make a nature diary and use it to record your findings. Your diary should include drawings, maps, video or sound recordings.
This challenge is about making an area better for wildlife. To complete this challenge, you will need to do three things from the following list of choices:
- Help build a wildlife pond
- Plant a wildlife friendly flowerbed / flower garden to attract wildlife
- Make and put up a bird box / bat box / minibeast home / bumblebee nest (choose one)
- Go on a litter pick Take part in some practical conservation work on a nature reserve
- Make / put up a bird feeder, and keep it topped up with bird food over the winter.
You can find activity sheets to give you some ideas here.
Shout About It!
Tell people about the things you have been doing to get your Kestrel award. Choose one of the following ways to do this:
- A presentation. This could be to your class at school, or to another group.
- An article. Write an article and get it published.
- A display. Make a display which highlights what you have done, and encourages others to help wildlife. Find somewhere to display it, e.g. your school, library or community centre, and get it on show!
- A film. Make a film about your work and publish it on-line (e.g. YouTube).
You can see films that members of the Wildlife Watch Team have made about things they have done to help wildlife for inspiration here
How can I get involved?
STEP 1: Please check with the adult who looks after you first, then you or they can email Sue Curnock, Kestrel Award Co-ordinator who will send over a pack to start your challenge. *Please make sure your full name and Sussex Wildlife Trust Junior or Family Membership Number is included in the email to Sue.
You can also visit our national Wildlife Watch website for more information and ideas to get you started.
STEP 2: Once you have completed the four challenges, you will need to have your work assessed by an adult. If you attend a Wildlife Watch group, then this can be your group leader. If you don't, then it could be a teacher or someone from your community who is knowledgeable about the topic of the challenge, please speak to the adult who looks after you to help with arranging this. It is not necessary for the same person to assess all four challenges. Parents or guardians may assess one of the challenges. Once your challenges have been assessed, please email Sue again attaching a photo or scan of your completed Kestrel Award Form. Feel free to include photos of your work as well if you like, we are always interested to see the activities you have been doing to find out about and help your local wildlife.
A link to joining the Trust can be found at the top of this page. (If you are not a member, you can still take part in our Hedgehog Award which is open to everyone.)