Education plays an important role in Fingal’s Biodiversity Programme. Nature education encourages kids to observe nature, it enhances their creativity, and it helps to foster a positive environmental ethic. Fingal County Council is working together with various organizations to deliver a comprehensive nature education program to many schools in Fingal.

The Outdoor Classroom

The idea behind ‘the Outdoor classroom’ is to provide schools with a year-round environmental programme using local parks. The Outdoor Classroom focuses on the magic of discovery, on using the senses, getting wet and dirty, but most of all learning whilst having fun.

In the first stage of the programme, the children are given a talks on the various wildlife and habitats they can see in their local parks. Stage two of the programme is more ‘hands’-on’, making bird feeders or window boxes in the classroom and/or developing a wildlife garden in the grounds of their school.

As the season progresses, the programme takes on a more outdoor approach. The pupils spend their time exploring and discovering their local parks on a regular basis. Through a variety of projects they develop a relationships not just with their local park, but also between themselves and the animal and plants that live there.

For more information on the Outdoor Classroom project contact Andrew Fleming of OWLS on 087 329 9936.

Trout in the Classroom
The nature education programme also includes the Trout in the Classroom project which is a joint initiative of the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board and Fingal County Council.

Under the Trout in the Classroom project schools receive an aquarium and Brown Trout eggs that are donated by the Central Fisheries Board. The aim of this project is for pupils not only to learn more about raising fish from eggs, but also to learn more about the life cycle of Trout and Salmon and to stimulate a sense of ownership of their local river and the natural environment.

Trout farming and egg rearing is a complex process for even the most experienced fish farmer. Maintaining a stable water temperature is the trickiest part. Bottles of frozen water are used to keep the water temperature below 10 degrees even during the Christmas holidays. The pupils also monitor the water temperature, keep natural light from the eggs, keep a constant flow of water and oxygen and make sure that dead eggs are removed on an ongoing basis.

For more information on the Trout in the Classroom project contact Des Chew of the ERFB on 01 278 7022.

   
   
     
   
     

For more information on these projects please contact the Biodiversity Officer.
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