Schools join new bird project in Parkanaur

Teachers from schools taking part in the Speedwell project. Back row Mary Largey (St Joseph's PS, Caledon), Paul McAleer (St Mary's PS, Aughnacloy), Stephen Donaghy (St Mary's PS, Ballygawley), Gael Haslett (Richmond PS, Ballygawley), Rosalind Cartmill (Churchill PS, Caledon) and Stephen Crabbe (Speedwell Trust). Front Row: Catherine Donnelly (St Mary's PS, Aughnacloy), Simone Hughes (St Mary's PS, Carland), Ann Keane (Newmills PS), Beverley Pollock (Dungannon PS), Sheena Smyth (St Patrick's PS, Dungannon).
Teachers from schools taking part in the Speedwell project. Back row Mary Largey (St Joseph's PS, Caledon), Paul McAleer (St Mary's PS, Aughnacloy), Stephen Donaghy (St Mary's PS, Ballygawley), Gael Haslett (Richmond PS, Ballygawley), Rosalind Cartmill (Churchill PS, Caledon) and Stephen Crabbe (Speedwell Trust). Front Row: Catherine Donnelly (St Mary's PS, Aughnacloy), Simone Hughes (St Mary's PS, Carland), Ann Keane (Newmills PS), Beverley Pollock (Dungannon PS), Sheena Smyth (St Patrick's PS, Dungannon).

A number of schools in the Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council area will be able to learn about native birds thanks to a new project being delivered by the Speedwell Trust at Parkanaur.

The three year BEAK project, an acronym for Bird Education, Action and Knowledge, will see Speedwell work with 30 local primary schools.

The project is scheduled to be delivered over the next three months.

Speedwell will support 10 teachers through training which gives an overview of the project and provides information on a variety of birds; provide the opportunity for 10 schools (five partnerships) and 250 children to visit the Speedwell centre to participate in bird education activities including bird watching in Parkanaur Forest, making bird cake and bird feeders; organise a member of the RSPB to visit the five partnerships to provide resources and expertise which will enable schools to participate in the Big Birdwatch and facilitate practical activities which will inspire children about birds and conservation issues in their school environment.

Speedwell manager Eamon McClean said: “I am delighted that Speedwell can use Challenge Fund monies to provide opportunities for local children to participate in a shared education environmental focused project. Not only will children learn about ways to protect and conserve our native birds they will also be sharing classes and activities with their peer group from a different education sector.”