Pupils at 45 schools across Suffolk will have flat-packed bird boxes waiting for them when they return following the latest lockdown courtesy of the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

BASC has put the packs together and will help teachers and pupils assemble the boxes and put them up via two pre-recorded videos.

The boxes have been provided as part of a project that BASC is involved in which is aimed at bringing the countryside to children in primary schools across Suffolk.

Outreach Outdoors was launched by the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA), with support from BASC, after the cancellation of the SAA’s School Farm and Country Fair last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ray Goodman, spokesman for SAA, said: “Cancelling the 2020 fair meant around 4,500 children were not able to benefit from the ‘hands-on’ experience of food, farming and country pursuits which have made the event such a great success for the past two decades.

“So we have adapted our ways of working and instead will be bringing a celebration of the countryside direct to primary school children in their classrooms in 2021.”

Terry Behan, BASC’s director for the East of England, said the boxes would provide an important habitat for songbirds around the schools, where pupils would be able to observe them and take part in species counts in the future.

He said: “In a time of need we have come together to create an informative engaging lesson for the children of 45 schools.  The lesson will get the children out in the fresh air whilst learning about the importance of conservation.”

Curtis Mossop, BASC’s head of pathways to shooting, added: “Hundreds of children will return to the classroom this spring to find a BASC bird box, in kit form, ready for them to build with their teachers with the help of the pre-recorded BASC videos. The Outreach Outdoors project is a fantastic example of the collaborative relationship between BASC and the Suffolk Agricultural Association to provide fun, conservation themed engagement opportunities for children in the region.”

For more information on the project and to book, click here.

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