Schoolchildren celebrate osprey return

World Osprey Week. Submitted
World Osprey Week. Submitted
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Schoolchildren came together to celebrate the return of ospreys to Rutland.

Last month the ospreys started their long spring migration from West Africa.

To mark the occasion, the Rutland Osprey Project held its annual World Osprey Week last week which included a host of activities for schools in the area as well as holding presentations where they told the children about the birds and how they migrate.

The project also set up Skype conversations for pupils with schools it has links with in Grosetto, Italy, Uraibai, Spain and The Gambia West Africa.

An event was also held at the project’s Volunteer Training Centre for its 18 ambassadors from seven schools in the Rutland and Stamford area, such as Edith Weston Primary School and Casterton Primary School.

Jackie Murray, an education officer at the project, which was founded 21 years ago, said: “Ospreys connect local schools with other schools around the world.

“What began 21 years ago as a conservation project to reintroduce the Osprey to Rutland, has now added dimension of a global education project, linking children in schools along the osprey migration routes.”

The Rutland Osprey Project is also running a movie competition for schoolchildren in Stamford and Rutland which asks them to make a short movie inspired by ospreys.

Since 2011, 118 young ospreys have fledged from nests in the Rutland Water area and in 2016 seven breeding pairs produced 15 fledged chicks.

As part of the week, the project also held a presentation explaining what it has learnt about osprey migration at Heffers book Shop in Cambridge to an invited audience.

One of the project’s achievements is restoring a breeding population of ospreys in central England for the first time in 150 years.