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Young wildlife watcher wins award

Finn with the hedgehog house he made in his grandparents’ garden, using natural materials he found outdoors.
Finn with the hedgehog house he made in his grandparents’ garden, using natural materials he found outdoors.

[N]ine-year-old Finn Hurley has just received Cumbria’s first ever Kestrel Award from Cumbria Wildlife Trust. The award is given to children who demonstrate, in a very practical way, how much they care about nature and their local wildlife.

Finn lives in Preston but completed his Kestrel Award project while visiting his grandparents Linda and Alec Greening in Dalton, near Burton-in-Kendal. To qualify for the award, which is open to children aged eight and upwards, Finn wrote a poem, created wildlife-themed collages using natural materials from the garden, designed and built a hedgehog home (now in his grandparents’ garden), did litter picks and did an in-depth study of the woods around Hutton Roof Nature Reserve.

Jamie Normington, Senior Education Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust presents Finn Hurley with his Kestrel Award at the Trust’s head office near Kendal.
Jamie Normington, Senior Education Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust presents Finn Hurley with his Kestrel Award at the Trust’s head office near Kendal.

Finn was presented with the Kestrel Award badge and certificate by Jamie Normington, Senior Education Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Jamie was very impressed by the amount of time and effort that Finn put into getting his award: “Finn put in weeks and weeks of work into this project. What a great achievement for a youngster!  He completed all four sections required by the award brilliantly and Finn’s assessor, Bryan Yorke, one of our volunteers and a renowned bird watcher based at Hutton Roof, was very impressed by the quality of his work.”

In recognition of being the first young person in Cumbria to receive this award, Jamie also presented Finn with a book of fossils (one of his many passions!) along with a Wildlife Watch hat and tee-shirt.

Finn’s grandma Linda Greening said: “Finn worked on the project whenever he came to visit us (as long as it wasn’t raining!) so it took him about a year to complete. He made six visits to the woods adjoining Hutton Roof, at different times of the year, to record what was happening. He recorded all sorts of things, not just plants but badger droppings and tracks, and he discovered deer nests and a deer skull. He presented the final project to his local cub group who were so impressed they sent it to the Cubs’ headquarters!”

The Kestrel Award is a national award and is open to members of the Wildlife Trusts’ young people’s club, Wildlife Watch. This club encourages youngsters to explore their local wildlife and get involved with environmental activities.

To find out about Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Watch Group events for children in the Kendal area, contact Seb Sillito on [email protected]

For more information about Wildlife Watch, the Kestrel Award and resources for young people, go to www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk and follow the link to Discover and Learn.

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