Slamannan pupils join wild goose chase

Slamannan pupils helped track rare geese to Sweden where they breed
Slamannan pupils helped track rare geese to Sweden where they breed

Children from a Braes school have joined the ‘twitcher-ati’ by using modern gadgetry to help solve one of nature’s mysteries.

The P4 - P6 kids from Slamannan primary have worked alongside Scottish Natural Heritage to help track the migration of a flock of rare geese to Scandinavia answering the question of where they breed during the summer.

The rare birds spend winter on the Slamannan plateau and six were fitted with GPS tags which allowed scientists from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to track them from here to Sweden earlier this year.

The local plateau is Scotland’s only winter location for the geese and, thanks to modern technology, the children were sent live feeds from the scientists to follow the flight.

The school has also been studying everything about the birds at close quarters with visits to the plateau earning it a nomination for a ‘learning through technology’ gong at the Scottish Education awards for its innovative work.

Teacher Alistair Findlay said: “The children have been using live links, blogs, emails,g raphs and spreadsheets, designing story boards, reading co-ordinates and map reading and using other technology for the project which has given them learning tools right across the curriculum.

“They have also learned about wildlife, habitat and the environment and have loved doing it. It’s been an amazing project that grew arms and legs as it went on.”

P4/5 pupil Liam Maxwell said: “The geese are really smart birds. It was really cool learning that they know they can go faster when they all fly in a ‘V’ shape. Having them here makes Slamannan special too.”

Caroline Crawford from Scottish Natural Heritage said: “This information will be crucial to help us understand and protect these special birds.

“It was also terrific to have all the children involved in learning about the geese.”