Investigating Biodiversity to Encourage Respect for the School Site and Habitats

Investigating biodiversity and wildlife on our school site in order to use the findings as evidence to improve the area and reduce the amount of litter by raising awareness of its impact on the habitats of the creatures in our school grounds.

Wildlife image case study

What did you do and how did you involve the whole school?

To achieve this target, the Eco group planted a night vision camera on the school site overnight to investigate what wildlife we have living on the site. We involved the whole school community by compiling our evidence into a video, adding quotes from teachers about the biodiversity on our school site and the importance of protecting it. The camera found evidence of badgers, foxes, bats along with pictures of other species that the members had taken throughout the day at school.

Oliver Lewis and Sonia Marwaha also discussed their findings on this during assemblies for both Year 8 and 9 in order to urge pupils in the school to refrain from dropping litter in order to protect these habitats.

How and why did you decide on this target?

Using our environmental review, we realised that we had not managed to make much progress in the biodiversity section, which encouraged us to investigate further. Eco Committee members have always been keen to look at the animal habitats on the school site as it is such a diverse area. They have wanted to investigate and discover what was there.

By completing the environmental review and action plan, pupils also felt that litter was an issue in school and that there was a lack of awareness of the impact litter has on the wildlife in the area. Pupils felt it was important to share this with our school community to encourage all to treat the site with respect.

How has the project impacted on your school and your community?

Due to the assemblies conducted by our eco members, we recruited 6 new members to our eco committee who wanted to get involved in solving the litter issues in school to protect the wildlife on site. This showed to us that members of the school community responded to the evidence of our research in the way that we had hoped.

The group reported their findings back in a meeting and reported that the litter situation had improved greatly. Due to COVID-19 we were unable to give an accurate measurement of this as the school closed shortly after, however we continue to make this a priority in our action plan and will fully measure the results now back in school as we continue to reinforce this message to the school community.

These findings also encouraged us to consider how our new school building will be built to protect the biodiversity on the site. Due to this, the deputy head teacher agreed to allow us to meet with an architect of the new buildings to discuss this further.

How did you celebrate success and what are your next steps?

We celebrated our success by sharing our findings with Rogerstone Community Council who were very impressed with the work we were conducting. Due to this, and our ‘Eco Charter’ which we entered a competition with Rogerstone Council, the Eco Committee won £300 to implement proposed actions to make our school more eco-friendly. This success was shared on our eco Twitter page.

Our next step is the use this money to protect these habitats further. Suggestions that have been made are to buy more bins around the site to stop littering and to invest in another night vision camera to continue to monitor the wildlife on our school site.

We also would like to make these assemblies a yearly tradition to encourage members of our school community to be mindful in terms of litter and keeping our school site safe for our animals and our whole school community.

We will be presenting our findings to the architect of the new school buildings to discuss how these habitats can continue to be respected and preserved.