Inspiring Young Naturalists

7th November 2022

Wildlife Lecture

It was an honour to welcome renowned ornithologist Roger Morgan-Grenville and 450 primary pupils from across Hampshire to our annual Cameron Bespolka Memorial Lecture. The Cameron Bespolka Trust was set up in memory of Wykehamist Cameron to inspire children and young people to nurture a passion for wildlife. The wildlife lecture, at the cusp of COP 27 and in the midst of our national biodiversity crisis, was a timely juncture to enthuse youngsters about the natural world.

Roger Morgan-Grenville, novelist and adventurer, along with his colleague, Ellen Bradley from charity Curlew Action, took pupils on a humorous, lively and yet poignant journey of a curlew’s life from its hatching to its fledging, and all the inherent dangers along the way, not least predators and environmental change. A string quartet of Winchester College musicians played before the lecture.

 

“These lectures both inspire and educate our children as the future custodians of the planet and support us in our environmental work”

Jane Hall, Headteacher at All Saints C of E Primary School, commented of the event: "The Cameron Bespolka Memorial Lecture captured our children’s interest, and they came away enthused and inspired by the guest speaker, ornithologist Roger Morgan-Grenville. The children were full of the facts and information Roger had shared with them and were very keen to impart this knowledge back in school. These lectures both inspire and educate our children as the future custodians of the planet and support us in our environmental work here at All Saints CE Primary."

Jeremy Brewster, teacher at Kings Worthy Primary School said: "Roger Morgan-Grenville captivated our children with stories of his 1,000-mile solo walk from Lymington to Cape Wrath and his passion for birds and wildlife. It was lovely to hear how inspired our children were on our journey back to school."

Poetry Prizes

All participants who had entered the Cameron Bespolka Wildlife Poetry Competition were treated to a celebratory afternoon tea in College Hall where they had opportunity to meet Roger in person, and to hear from English teacher Dr James Methven, who judged the entries, and Andrew Millham, Young Ambassador from the Cameron Bespolka Trust. Andrew’s own literary journey as a poet began with his entry in a wildlife poetry competition.

Congratulations to the poetry prize-winners: Liam from Winnall Primary School who won first prize, Clara from Kings Worthy Primary School who won second prize, and runners-up Charley, Connor, Lola and Scarlett. Liam won an overnight stay for his class at Cameron’s Cottage at the RSPB Franchises Lodge Nature Reserve in the New Forest, and Clara won a day out for her class on Brownsea Island with the Dorset Wildlife Trust. 

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