In partnership with Friends of Weir Wood, we have had the pleasure of running three events at the reservoir - two for schoolchildren and one for adults. We feel that connecting to the River and the wildlife that live in/around her is a crucial stepping stone in the journey towards improving our relationship to her, as well as the rest of nature. So, we took a diverse range of people, drawing upon the expertise of members from Friends of Weir Wood, who have been observing wildlife for decades.
Two groups came from Michael Hall, both from class 5 (year 6). There was excitement buzzing in the area, married with curiosity about the strange looking birds such as the Great Crested Grebe. We also ran a mini and informal lesson on how to save water, co-imagining the different ways that we can minimise the daily 42 litres of water flushed down the toilet by individuals in the UK, for example. The children came up with many imaginative ways of saving water - from capturing it in leaves to stopping drinking water altogether (!) - yet, with some guidance they adopted a few more practical options. Thirty children signed up to become a water guardian, proving their commitment to their relevant teacher the following week. They have since been awarded with water guardian stickers; an emblem of their honouring of the waters.
It was only fair that the adults would then have their turn. Limited to 20 spaces, we took a group of keen nature enthsiasts to the reservoir and walked around the peripheries, identifying the different species that turned up. Though the noise of enlivened chatter may have frightened a few away, we manage to see a considerable list, including: Mallard, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Long-tailed Tit, Canada Goose, Robin, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Great Crested Grebe. It showed just how many wonderful species there are living right on our doorstep! This was followed by teas and homemade cakes, of which were made with pulse flours grown in the UK.
We look forward to many more similar events and for sharing the love that have for the River and all of her inhabitants!