Today is World Environment Day, and we had a “thing” at work where all the environmental organisations we support come and give talks and explain what they do.

I had a quick chat to Samantha Ralsdon, who works for Bird Life. I really didn’t know much about what they did, and I found it so fascinating that I’m sharing it with you all 😉

I found this on the pamphlet I picked up today, and it was really nicely explained… For me to share with the boys:

Birds are one of the most visible indicators of the health of the environment, because they are sensitive to habitat change. Because they are easy to census, birds are the ecologists favourite tool. 
Changes in bird population are often the first indication of environmental problems. Whether ecosystems are managed for agricultural production, wildlife, water, or tourism, success can be measured by the health of birds.

Not only do Bird Life do bird conservation, they promote bird tourism in the country, and do a lot for bird education; but I found their work with the energy sector fascinating.

They consult to organisations wanting to build wind farms and solar farms. Birds are known to fly into the wind turbines, and Samantha is part of a team that helps companies assess the impact of the turbines, and where the best place is to build them.

She was saying that moving them by even 100m makes a huge difference. They look at the migratory patterns as well as where bird colonies are prevalent. For example, they’d advise them to move the turbines if there was a vulture colony close-by, because vultures would not fly around the turbines.

I’ve just spent the last while on their website reading more about what they do, and I’m impressed. I do think their website could be more user and child/school project friendly though.

There are a number of ways you can support them, I for one, will be changing my “My School” donation to “My Planet” and nominate them as recipient… I reckon the boys school get enough money from me 😉

The website also has a list of bird clubs that you can become a member of, and if that doesn’t float your boat, but you’re into photography; they have a Rarity sightings programme. They’re asking the public to submit photos of rare species of birds so that more can be learnt about them. Now that’s cool!

I spent quite some time this afternoon telling the kids about them this afternoon, stressing the mix between science, maths and environment… in a hope that I plant a seed about the use of maths and science in the real world.