The Kingfisher Award Scheme has been running in Wiltshire for 8 years and is coordinated by Alastair Brown and Jo McKenzie.

The Wiltshire KAS takes place in the surrounding countryside of the stunning Chalke Valley, which stretches from Salisbury in Wiltshire to the east across to Shaftesbury, Dorset to the west.


 

This year the Wiltshire Kingfisher took place in the beautiful setting of Manor Farm in Sutton Mandeville. Our brilliant team of local volunteers helped 120 children from five different schools to engage in a wide range of hands-on activities over the two field days. Our theme for 2019 was ‘What Lives In and Around a Wheatfield?’

   

 

Field Days

In June children were enthusiastically engaged in three different topics as described below, each topic being subdivided into two activity stations. Activities are designed to alert children’s senses to the wildlife on the farmland around them and, quite literally, get their hands properly dirty!

  • Soil and Toil: Children dug down to examine the soil beneath their feet and found out what makes a healthy soil. Armed with insect nets they looked for the many different creatures which work hard above the ground to keep their habitats thriving. And they all were intrigued to discover why dragonfly larvae have a very different reputation to their adult form.

  • Wheat and Eats: This station explored what grows up out of the soil on an arable farm. We followed the process from seed to plate of one of our most important foods. We learn how crop production has changed over the years into the modern farming practices used today and why it is so important for farmers to continue to conserve wildlife habitats on their land. Children enjoyed making and cooking their own wheat-sourced snack.

  • Meet the Birds: A chance to get up close to live birds of prey and learn about their hunting skills and why they might favour a farmland environment. Food chains are a key part of this topic and children found out for themselves what birds like to eat and what they leave for us to find!

Pupils returned to their classroom after their field visit, brimming with ideas of what they wanted to research in more detail. They spent the next few weeks coming up with a huge range of creative and imaginative ideas to showcase what had inspired them. 

 

Picnic Afternoon and Award Ceremony

The sun shone bright on our picnic afternoon on 16th July and the event showed how very inspired the children had all been by their visit to Manor Farm. Judges deliberated long and hard over the five eye-catching displays: owls, worms and insects were a key feature with some stunning artwork, creative writing and incredible constructions.

   

                               

 

Congratulations to all schools for their fantastic displays and hard work. The winning school was Broad Chalke and the runner-up was Chilmark & Fonthill Bishop.

2019 Winners Broad Chalke School with the Kingfisher Award


The KAS is entirely reliant on sponsorship money, charitable donations, and volunteers. If you would like to make a donation or offer your time to help please contact the FWAG SouthWest office on: 01823 660684 or email [email protected]