What we do Education Kingfisher Project The Kingfisher Award Scheme (KAS) provides children with the opportunity to go onto farms to explore the natural world. “Touch, feel and see the relationship between food, farming and wildlife.” Find out more information on the County pages by clicking the banners below First launched in Devon by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and friends in 1992, KAS has now expanded and works with around 800 children a year across four counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire). KAS is now an educational initiative of the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SouthWest). The Field Visit The visit to a farm or wildlife site allows the children to connect with their environment, landscape and the wildlife habitats around them. The activities aim to give an understanding of how farming and wildlife are linked. Emphasis is placed on the food chain, ecosystems and life cycles within the natural environment. The children learn by discovering for themselves, they are encouraged to use their senses, to ask questions and to have fun! Learning is through hands on experiences, such as examining a fleece, pond dipping or owl pellet analysis. The Project Back in the classroom the children do further research on the themes of the field day and prepare a display. This is a team effort that allows the children to develop ideas and explore their natural environment at school and at home. The focus of the display is led by the children so they can follow the topics which have sparked their interest, giving room for them to follow their own ideas. The Presentation EveningThe participation schools are then invited back to the farm or suitable venue for a picnic where they present their displays to compete for the KAS Trophy. The judges are a panel drawn from farming and wildlife backgrounds with whom the children discuss their work. The afternoon includes activities such as making willow dragonflies, meeting the bees in our volunteers observation hive and listening our Kingfisher story teller. The Kingfisher Award trophy is presented to the winning school. Get Involved The Kingfisher Award Scheme is reliant on private sponsors and charitable trusts for its funding. Volunteers are needed to help run farm visit days. KAS operates in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire, it is run by a management committee. Each county has a coordinator who plans field days, liaises with schools, farmers and volunteers as well as organising the picnic and award presentation. KAS is completely free of charge to the schools, even transport to the farms is arranged! If you would like to help in any way please enquire via [email protected] or follow the links to county coordinators.