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Royal Parks launches Grand Bug Designs schools competition

The Mission: Invertebrate project aims for London schools to transform playgrounds into wildlife havens

Posted by Julian Owen | December 08, 2017 | Events

The Mission: Invertebrate project, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, aims to raise awareness and understanding of the vital roles of invertebrates in London’s eight Royal Parks.

Grand Bug Designs is challenging students to channel their creativity and knowledge of nature to design an invertebrate paradise for their school playground. The winning entrants will have the opportunity to see their design brought to life, and experience the wonderful world of invertebrates through practical workshops for their school. Second and third prizes will include an invertebrate hotel and window box with invertebrate-friendly plants for the chosen schools. 

Invertebrates make up over 95% of animals on Earth,” say organisers. “These complex and fascinating creatures play vital roles in the ecosystem. From helping us with pollination and waste disposal, to being a valuable food source for many birds and small mammals, invertebrates have diverse needs in terms of food and shelter, and habitats required to meet these criteria to allow them to thrive. By incorporating a range of ‘bug-tastic’ habitats into their grounds, schools can attract a greater range of invertebrates to observe and investigate.” 

Teachers and pupils can get inspired by exploring the specially produced learning resources on the competition website. Bug and habitat ID guides, survey templates and an eye-catching presentation will help classes identify what their playgrounds need and plan out the best possible design. 

How To Enter… 

 - Outline how your design will encourage invertebrates into your school grounds

 - Explain what materials you would use for the project. The more eco-friendly, the better!

 - Be as creative and inventive with your design as you like; no outdoor space is too small

 - Design something to suit the space you have

Dr Alice Laughton, who is leading the project for The Royal Parks, said: “The Grand Bug Designs competition is a fantastic opportunity for children to get involved and learn about the vital role of invertebrates both in their school playground and wider ecosystems. The competition facilitates learning in the great open air, whilst helping the capital’s invertebrate community to flourish.”

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