SCHOOLS across Cheshire will be inspiring the next generation of nature conservationists as they take part in the UK’s biggest annual wildlife survey.

Running from January 21–February 1, the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a fun, easy and free way to connect children to nature by encouraging them to discover and learn about the birds they can see from their classroom.

The survey also helps the RSPB build up a picture of birds visiting school grounds and the population changes they are experiencing.

Last year, almost 90,000 UK school children and teachers across more than 3,000 classes stepped up for nature by taking part in the survey. This year, the RSPB is calling for even more schools to get involved.

Emma Reed, the RSPB’s education officer in Northern England, said: “A growing wealth of evidence suggests that many children have little or no contact with the natural world.

“This is bad news for wildlife because it means that future generations are less likely to care about the threats facing the environment.

“The Big Schools’ Birdwatch introduces children to their local wildlife and encourages them to care about the natural world.

“The survey is easy and fun so it can be the first step towards a life-long love of wildlife.”

For further information and to get hold of a free Big Schools’ Birdwatch teachers’ pack, visit the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch or ring 0300 456 8340.