Children doing bioblitz, Giving Nature a Home in Glasgow

Education in Scotland

RSPB Scotland believes that connecting with nature should be part of every child’s life. Research has shown that only 27 per cent of Scottish children have a good connection to nature.

A connection to nature

When children and young people are connected to nature, their education, physical health, emotional wellbeing, personal and social skills are affected positively, and it helps them become responsible citizens.

There is a growing recognition that children and young people today live increasingly sedentary lives and their social interactions are most often made in a virtual world. 

Over the past decade, travel costs mean fewer schools are visiting our nature reserves. At the same time, more learning relies on indoor technology and a risk-averse culture means teachers are less likely to bring their students outdoors.

Boy looking for minibeasts
Boy looking for minibeasts

School visits and outreach

We can’t stand by and let another generation grow up without an appreciation of the natural world. We have ambitious targets: between 2015 and 2018 we want to connect 192,000 Scottish children to nature. Education is one of the best ways to reach children and make sure everyone is included.

About school visits

We welcome thousands of children to RSPB Scotland nature reserves each year. Our two main learning reserves, close to the central belt – Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross, and Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire – give students memorable encounters with nature at the same time as they learn outside the classroom. Our programmes complement the national curricula and are suitable for all ages. 

School groups can also visit smaller reserves including Mersehead, Loch Garten, Insh Marshes, Loch of Strathbeg and several sites on Orkney and Shetland.

Outreach projects

We’re delighted that money from the Scottish Parliament’s carrier bag charge, via our partners at Aldi, will mean we can bring outreach sessions to schools’ own playgrounds or local green space. At the moment we’re working in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Pond-dipping at Vane Farm RSPB reserve, Kinross, Scotland

School activities

We provide plenty for teachers and students to enjoy both in and out of the classroom, combining learning and fun.

Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Every January and February, schoolchildren across Scotland take part in Big Schools’ Birdwatch.

The survey is part of the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch - the world's biggest garden wildlife survey.

We provide teachers everything they need to take part, with tips, advice and resources for fun and informative lessons. 

Wild Challenge

Wild Challenge is your chance to help wildlife, explore nature, and work towards awards by making your way through a heap of wild schools activities. What will your wild challenge be? Register for free now.