Operation Grey Partridge
This term we brought conservation to the science lab in a unique new project. Grey partridges, which used to be a common sight in the UK, have declined in numbers dramatically due to intensive farming methods as their natural breeding habitats have declined.
Fortunately new habitats are now in place, and breeding and release programmes are providing a supply of birds. This is where the Hilden Grange lab came in! Last week we took delivery of a grey partridge hatching kit, including an incubator and 12 eggs. Very excitingly, all but one of the eggs hatched, and pupils were fascinated to watch their progress as the chicks settled into their surroundings and learnt to feed. It has been a wonderful learning experience for the pupils as they have learnt not just about the chicks’ needs and how to care for them, but also their history, the implications of a disappearing habitat and the vital role played by conservation projects such as these in restoring the species.
Our chicks have now been collected and taken to a farm where they will be cared for until they are ready for release into the wild, in a carefully-selected habitat.
We are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to get involved in this project, not only for the chance to make a difference to the conservation of the grey partridge, but also for the very meaningful impact it has made on the children’s understanding of the impact humans have on the environment.