As you may know by now, we’re buzzing about bees! As part of our endeavours to raise awareness for the humble bumblebee, we launched a nationwide story writing competition across schools in May. Children in schools across the UK were asked to write a short story about Bella the Bee, and draw a picture of her adventures camping in the forest, while learning all about her habitat. Last week, as part of the UK’s first ever Bee Kind Week, wildlife expert Chris Packham chose the winner from hundreds of entries across the UK. The winning school, Robert Le Kyng Primary School in Swindon, enjoyed a personal visit and wildlife assembly from Chris Packham, and the winning pupil, Hannah, received a certificate and a weeks’ camping and activity package from Camping in the Forest.
On choosing his winner, Chris said: “It was really hard to choose a winner from all the great entries, but I liked the way Hannah has used the conversation to carry the story about the two bees, and introduces the idea of pollination, honey production and food consumption. I also liked the way she understood how the windy weather impacted on their journey. Her handwriting is also a lot better than mine, and her drawing of Bella and Billy is very charming!”
The school enjoyed a wildlife assembly from Chris before the winning class got the chance to take part in some crafty activities including colouring in and creating bee masks! The Bumblebee Conservation Trust also attended the event where they received a £500 donation from Camping in the Forest on behalf of the winning primary school. Hannah was awarded with her story printed into a storybook, a certificate and her prize of a week’s camping holiday for her and her family in the New Forest.
School teacher Nicole Harrison said: “We had already been learning about bees, so when we heard about the competition the children were really excited because they were able to bring all the facts they had learnt into a fictional text about Bella. They were able to make the story come alive, bringing in facts they’d learnt and bringing in new characters they might meet in the forest. They really enjoyed it.”
On the importance of children getting close to nature, Nicole said: “It’s really inspiring for them, especially children who struggle to be imaginative. Once they step outside and are immersed in nature their imagination runs wild, it really spurs them on".
We’re passionate about encouraging people of all ages to get closer to nature and care for wildlife, which is why we launched Bee Kind Week, the first of its kind in the UK which ran from 19th – 25th June. Find out more and download the Bee Kind pack.
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