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Coastal Classroom Project

20th June 2013


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Teaching children about the importance of different species found on our shores




Local children having fun as they help to clean up Moray beach Local children having fun as they help to clean up Moray beach

Pupils from six Moray primary schools took advantage of the recent sunshine and headed outdoors to take part in a unique environmental programme.


The Coastal Classroom project is delivered by Forres-based charity Wild Things! and is designed to teach children about the different species found on the shore. Games are used to encourage the children to be as active as possible when learning about their eco-system. As a Dream Fund 2013 funded project, Coastal Classroom received £74,069 from players of People's Postcode Lottery.

"The Coastal Classroom is a way to build confidence and social skills and it's non-competitive – you don't have to be fit to give it a go
", said Ellen Packham, Operations and Marketing Manager at Wild Things!. "Many of the children who attend our courses are facing social challenges and by investigating life on the shore, through hands-on activities, they can escape these everyday challenges for a while. They get the chance to experience healthy outdoor play and learn really valuable information at the same time.


"
There's so much evidence which shows that getting outdoors and experiencing nature benefits us in many ways, both physically and emotionally and it's just great to see the children become animated and excited about nature. It's the way children should be but these days they sometimes need a helping hand to be reminded of how much fun that can be."


The Coastal Classroom programme takes place once a week, for six weeks, and is open to children - and adults - of any age. As well as learning about the different plant and sea-shore life, participants attend a session held in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation.


Founded in 1993 by Jennie Martin, Wild Things! is a registered charity which teaches people about the natural world and the benefits conservation brings to our daily lives. It offers a number of different projects for various age groups, including leadership courses for adults and holiday camps and residential camps for teenagers. There are also classes based around the forest and participants can learn Bushcraft skills. The charity facilitates the John Muir Awards Scheme.