Information for schools

What’s in it for you?

A free school visit for your class (suitable for ages 5-11) to one of our wetland centres (including free transport)

A free family visit for every child in your class and their family

School and family access to a website containing nature-connection activities for every season

Curriculum resource packs with activities linking to the project

Specially-designed certificates and badges for the children

A chance to win the construction of a mini-wetland in your school grounds

Qualifying criteria

We are passionate about removing barriers to nature. This project specifically hopes to reach children from disadvantaged areas. We have based the qualifying criteria on the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals.

This enables us to target those most in need in the areas surrounding each centre. The current qualifying criteria are:

Arundel Wetland Centre: 20%
Castle Espie Wetland Centre: 45%
Llanelli Wetland Centre: 30%
London Wetland Centre: 25%
Martin Mere Wetland Centre: 35%
Slimbridge Wetland Centre: 25%
Washington Wetland Centre: 35%

What does the project involve?

See brief summary below or, for more detail, please download our teacher guide.

Illustration showing Ava perched on a cliff edge with hills, birds, and a lake in the background.

1. Introduction in school

The project is introduced through a digital storybook where Ava’s story begins. Schools are provided with a range of curriculum-linked resources so that they can incorporate work on ospreys and wetlands into their teaching should they wish.

2. Free school visit

During the free school visit, children meet Ava in life-size puppet form at her giant nest. She challenges them to discover the secrets of her story from the animals on site and has designed magical listening devices that enable the children to hear what they are saying. The children must carry out nature connection activities to show that they care about nature. Only then will the animals reveal their secrets.

The visit culminates with the children helping Ava to fly. She disappears into the distance as she begins her long journey to West Africa where she hopes to be re-united with her family. There, she will also have the chance to present to the Guardians of the Wild, a council of animals that protect nature.

Follow-up at home and school

Children, teachers and family members log into a specially designed website where Ava’s story continues through a series of updates from her journey. Will she fulfil her destiny, find the Guardians and finally be reunited with her family?

Children complete nature activities in school and with their families to collect virtual badges. The Guardians have promised that any child who demonstrates they are willing to reconnect with nature can themselves become Guardians of the Wild, an honour not bestowed on humans for thousands of years. Will they do enough to be welcomed as a Guardian and receive their Guardians certificate and membership badge?

Free family visit

Any child that visits with their school will receive a free family visit voucher. They can share the magic and wonder with their family as they carry out a trail of nature-based activities.