Big Birdwatch returns to Cundall

22nd January 2018

Eagle-Eyed pupils from a leading North Yorkshire school will be attempting to record the number of local birds as ‘The Big Schools’ Birdwatch’ returns to Cundall Manor School for a second year in a row.

Youngsters from Cundall Manor School will be taking part in the nationwide campaign to monitor and record the local winged wildlife across three days this January. The RSPB claim that it is the world’s biggest garden and wildlife survey aimed at individuals and the family.

Last year pupils from across the school recorded seeing 30 birds across the survey with owls, robins and chaffinches all making a strong appearance on the list.

Pupils have been preparing for the event by constructing bird tables and feeders to help the native wildlife during the winter.

The school, based near Thirsk and Ripon in North Yorkshire, will be encouraging its pupils to take note of the wildlife they share their school with.

The initiative at the school is being run by Victoria Wick. She said: “We have a wonderful environment at Cundall Manor School and our pupils are keen to get involved with the outdoors.”

Mrs Wick added: “All the pupils enjoy the great outdoors and regularly engage with a wide variety of gardening and nature based activities. The recent development of The Wild Wood gives our pupils a new environment to observe wildlife.”

“The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a fabulous way for our youngsters to engage with the wildlife in the school grounds while also contributing to a great campaign.”

A recent survey of 200 teachers and 1200 school children from around the UK revealed that 96% teachers believed it was important for children to experience nature at school, while 77% of pupils agreed. With close to a million school children taking part since its launch in 2002, the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Last year, 73,000 children and teachers took part counting more than 100,000 birds. For the ninth successive year the blackbird was the most common playground visitor with 88% of schools spotting one during their watch. Robins, house sparrows and woodpigeons all featured prominently in the results, and with over 70 difference species recorded, there is sure to be a few surprises in schools around the country.

Rebecca Kerfoot, RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch Co-ordinator, said: “The Big Schools Birdwatch is the chance for children to get a taste of the wild side where they live and go to school. It’s fun, easy and simple to set up, it works for all ages, and even if it’s a dull, rainy January day you can still gaze out of the classroom and see a flash of colour.”

Adding: “The Birdwatch is the perfect chance to experience nature first hand, make exciting discoveries and help provide scientists with valuable information.”

The school will be tweeting the most interesting results. To find out more about the school, visit the schools website at or call 01423 360 200.