School kids become citizen scientists

, 24 March 2024
School kids become citizen scientists
Mermaids Purse © Barry Yates

By Natasha Sharma

Communities and Wildlife Officer

Spring is the start of school visits to the nature reserve and first up were a group of year 4 children from Sandown Primary School in Hastings. This week the children got to see a wide variety of different species and it was fantastic to bring to life the topics they’ve been learning about at school, such as rivers, climate change, coasts and habitats. 

River Rother
River Rother © Katherine Crowther

The practical experience that we provide can form the missing link in the children’s learning as it helps them explore and discover more about their subject. From smelling the sea, to feeling the rough texture of the seashells, watching a murmuration of Lapwing over the saltmarsh and collecting evidence of the feeding relationships of animals in their natural habitat.

Lapwing
Lapwing © Barry Yates

The students also helped us to complete some citizen science by collecting, measuring and identifying the ray egg cases we found as part of our beach scavenger hunt. We showed them how to enter this information on the Shark Trust website which in turn gives data back to Sussex Wildlife Trust to help chart the health of the ecosystem. A heartening day all round and hopefully a few more children who we’ve helped to inspire to protect their natural world.

Ray egg cases
Ray egg cases © Natasha Sharma

If you would like to get involved with this project, find out more about becoming a citizen scientist for the Shark Trust here.

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