As the nights draw in, pupils at our Junior and Senior Schools have been busy after sunset exploring their school grounds to record and study a number of native bat species.
The school’s bat detectors were installed by the school’s Ecologist in Residence as part of a phenology project to examine local protected species and a Junior science project about sound.
Armed with five different types of bat detector, pupils were lucky enough to observe and record a number of bats, including one of Britain’s smallest bats – common pipistrelle and also the largest bat – noctule. Their detectors ranged from a simple ‘make it yourself’ detector to sophisticated devices that record bat calls and their GPS locations.
Putney’s Ecologist in Residence has been working with students across the school to broaden their knowledge of diverse habitats and protected species, while embedding a greater understanding of ecology within the curriculum.“ These projects use data and knowledge on the local scale to help understand how changes in climate are changing the natural world on a larger scale” she explained.
The appointment of an Ecologist in Residence was part of Putney’s commitment to sustainability and the environment. Alongside award-winning biophilic classrooms, the school benefits from a wonderful green and leafy campus with many areas for outdoor learning that enrich everyday life for the whole school community. The school’s Gardening Club and Eco-Committee plant and care for vegetables, wildflower strips and herb and bog gardens around the grounds. Forthcoming plans include the school’s own weather station and a project to learn about the many mature trees on site.