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Ever wondered what happens in a school when the children go home?

Author Katie Eberstein

BHee Environmental Education Officer

As part of the Brighton & Hove environmental education (BHee) programme, we have put an infra-red camera in a few school grounds throughout the city, and found out that theres a lot more going on that most of us realise.

Weve caught footage of hedgehogs in Aldrington, foxes and their cubs playing in city centre schools, badgers in Portslade and even rats running riot in one unnamed school!

Perhaps the biggest surprise was in a school along the busy Lewes Road, a built up residential area. This school has a tarmaced internal courtyard with a small pond. I wasnt expecting much wildlife to visit these grounds. To both my, and the pupils', amazement, we found out that their grounds are regularly visited by badgers, snuffling around, presumably digging for worms and other prey.

These discoveries have helped engage children with their local wildlife, enriching their learning about local habitats and species and making the curriculum real and relevant. They have been a good starting point for exploring other local nocturnal animals, such as moths, bats and owls, and have helped us look at ways of developing school wildlife areas further.

BHee offers a variety of Wildlife Workshops to schools in Brighton & Hove, both in school grounds and in local greenspaces. For further details contact [email protected]

Brighton & Hove environmental education project (BHee) is delivered by Sussex Wildlife Trust and Resource Futures, funded by Brighton & Hove City Council.

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