Visit by Devon Wildlife Trust

Have you heard of the “Sorting-hat Spider”? Which British mammal is born a “hoglet”, has long back legs, can run at 20 miles per hour and enjoys unsalted peanuts?

Paul form Devon Wildlife Trust spoke to Year 4, posing just such questions. This enrichment activity came at the perfect time amidst our Habitats topic in Science. He also asked us to decide whether certain images were real, or fake. This was great fun! Paul defined the Devon Wildlife Trust as an organisation which aims to;

“Look after habitats so that animals can look after themselves.”

Amongst other creatures, he introduced us to the Eurasian Hedgehog. Normally their hearts beat at 110 beats per minute: whilst hibernating, their hearts only beat once per every three seconds. We learned about “self-annointing”; when they lick themselves after eating revolting things so that they taste disgusting! Fifty years ago there were 36 million hedgehogs in Britain, now there are only one million. Hedgehogs are more endangered than tigers, but why?

Human kind is destroying their natural habitat. We need to replace fences by replanting hedges. Simple things, such as leaving a messy area of the garden, or a pile of leaves for them to hibernate in can help. Why not create a “beach” area, so that hedgehogs can crawl out of your pond? Try building a bug hotel, or a hedgehog home. Try looking on the “Hedgehog Street” website.

Paul concluded that Nature is generally in trouble. Year 4 were shocked to discover that numbers of otters, badgers, foxes and even rabbits are lessening. Bumble-bees are at risk and 70% of butterfly species have disappeared. He entrusted the children to do what they can to look after nature.

8 February 2019
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