More than 600 schoolchildren were taken to the North Yorkshire Moors to experience the uplands and learn all about the unique species that live there and the role of the people who protect and conserve it.
The children, from 12 primary schools, visited the moors over four days as part of the ‘Let’s Learn Moor’ project.
Now in its second year, the aim of the project is to offer an outdoor education experience to children.
BASC North regional officer Gareth Dockerty, who led the scheme, said:
“From the gamekeepers to Hawk and Owl Trust and the emergency services it’s a real team effort. Children learned key messages from keeping dogs under control around ground nesting birds, to the dangers of unplanned fires.
“They learned how declining species such as the iconic curlew benefit from the managed open spaces of grouse moors and how sheep help manage tick numbers in the area.
“One of this year’s highlights was watching a red kite soar above the children during the Hawk and Owl Trust Conservation talk as they walked amongst the heather, bilberry and sphagnum moss.”
Let’s Learn Moor is coordinated and funded by BASC and involves a number of organisations and key partners including Countryside Learning, The North York Moors Moorland Organisation (NYMMO), National Gamekeepers Organisation, The North York Moors National Park, The Hawk and Owl Trust, North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force, Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue, local farmers and the Fire Brigade. BASC funded the transport and facilities for the schools to ensure it was a totally free day accessible to all schools.
Tina Brough from NYMMO said: “Our gamekeepers have been fantastic supporting the Let’s Learn Moor project, giving up their time to educate children and show the benefits of a well-managed grouse moor for nature and communities. Working alongside other partners such as the National Park shows children that it’s a real team effort in managing our uplands and the keepers are a vital part of the story.”
Last year Let’s Learn Moor event introduced 300 four to 11-year-olds to shooting.
The future aims for the project are to set up similar days across the uplands of Northern England from the Peak District to the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland.