Michael Maloney of Countrywide Productions is in the process of developing a series of Natural History Shorts which are intended to introduce children to the fascination of the Natural World.
“I have always been interested in the natural world, and have been a passionate bird watcher for over 35 years. I had the pleasure of growing up in a semi rural environment, and my curiosity in nature was encouraged by my friends and my parents. Being aware of the arrival in early Spring of birds from other countries to nest and raise their families in Britain has always been a source of wonder. I would like to share that continued enthusiasm, interest and the knowledge I have gained with the younger generation.
Much of the material is being filmed and recorded on the marvellous resources that nature reserves offer in the county of Kent.
The primary object of making these films
The natural world, although a key factor in our every day life, is something that is experienced by most people through their television screens. This project is intended to introduce and motivate children to investigate the natural world that surrounds them.
These short films are to be aimed at key stages 1 & 2 ( children of 5-7 years of age) who attend primary school. These films supported by notes on nature will give the teachers at primary school level the opportunity and the resources to discuss with the children during lesson times the importance and relevance of such topics as bird migration – including flight and feeding habits/ pollination/ adaption – and how living things adapt to their environment.
How we have identified the need for these films
Nature Reserves are significantly under-used by the local community. Often, people do not know where their local nature reserves are, nor do they know about the quality and variety of wildlife they could see there.
Teachers have commented on the dearth of easily accessible visual resources in support of the Primary Science Curriculum in relation to the local environment, habitats and wildlife.
Nature Reserves are mainly visited by people aged over fifty. An aim of the project is to encourage increased visits and by a younger demograph. A three-year research project by the RSPB, published in 2017 in the Guardian Newspaper, shows that according to the conservation group’s scoring system, four out of five children in the UK are not adequately “connected to nature”.
Conservationists linked the decline in wildlife to the disconnect between children and the natural world. “Nature is in trouble, and children’s connection to nature is closely linked to this”, said Dr Mike Clarke, the RSPB’s chief executive.
The positive legacy of this project will be as follows:
. The visual resource will help teachers develop their pupils’ knowledge of their local area.
. The films will be a source to refer to within the school for many years in the future reaching more and more children.
. Improving knowledge in children will help in their appreciation of, and pride in, their local natural resources, contributing to their future protection.
. The films will help develop children’s understanding of the natural world and its vital role in human well-being.
. The intention is that the films could be hosted on a separate platform such as Vimeo and other interested organisations websites making them available to a wider public.
We have received financial support so far for this project from the following:
. SBBOT (Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust)
We hope you would like to get involved by helping us by supporting the making of these films. If you wish to participate in anyway, please contact us.
This material was filmed at Stodmarsh in Kent