Kilkenny Wildlife Detective
This fantastic initiative undertaken by Kilkenny County Council encourages our upcoming generation to understand, appreciate and enjoy the county’s bio-diversity. The success to date has been overwhelming – with wildlife detectives confirming their dedication to the cause the length and breadth length of the county!
About the Initiative
The Wildlife Detective is an exciting new educational resource for pre-primary and primary school children; in essence, this project encourages and supports children to observe, record and ultimately enjoy Kilkenny’s biodiversity, while also supporting teachers/parents through the provision of guidance and promotional materials.
Our big challenge was to develop a mechanism to engage young children (in a world where technology is taken over!) while also fulfilling the strategic needs of Kilkenny County Council. We decided to bring children out of the classroom, away from screens and back into the great outdoors, through the creation of a Wildlife Detective Book. This book brings children of all ages into a world of insects, bugs and birds….all the wonderful creatures that we live side by side every day. The facility for children to observe, draw and record their findings allows them to take ownership of their own Wildlife journey.
Knowing children’s desire to ‘have a plan’ our booklet included the creation of a bespoke map with 16 specific wildlife sites – this encouraged children (and their parents) to visit places they had never been before and to truly appreciate the gift of nature.
To help early practitioners and teachers understand how to apply the initiative in the classroom, we designed a step by step guide of the programme for use in workshops; this really contributed to the success of the Wildlife Detective in classrooms.
Success to Date
Nearly one year in operation, the positive feedback from children, teachers and parents is resulting in the project being rolled out to every early learning centre and primary school in the county over the coming 2 years. The primary success measure however is the fun that all these children had in the great outdoors!