Three of the UK’s largest nature organisations will today join forces to inspire a new generation of nature-loving Scouts from across the UK.
The Cub Scout Naturalist Activity Badge pack launched at the Natural History Museum’s Big Nature Day on Sunday 27 May. This new suite of resources has been created by the Natural History Museum, The Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust to help Scout volunteers to deliver exciting programmes in a flexible way.
Emily Peters, Cub Scout aged 9 from 4th Enfield Scout Group, said,”I have tried out lots of activities in the Cub Scout’s activity pack and the Naturalist Badge has helped me learn about nature all around me. I have found out about plants and animals that I didn’t know existed near where I live”
Lucy Carter from The Natural History Museum said of the new resource pack, “It’s really exciting for us to work with The Wildlife Trusts and National Trust to get young people outdoors exploring nature and discovering the incredible variety of plants, animals and fungi right on their doorstep. The resource pack sets Cub Scouts on the road to becoming naturalists and shows them how to take part in surveys that help our scientists with real research.”
Available online from Sunday 27 May, the resource pack offers many challenges to bring Cub Scouts closer to nature, whether in an urban or rural setting. The activities will transform Cubs into bug hunters, bird detectives and tree trackers, getting them out into gardens, parks, and nature reserves managed by The Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust.
To earn the Badge, Cubs must complete three tasks from a choice of six, including:
Surveying a local hedgerow to find out which plants and animals live there,
Making a bird feeder to put in their garden then recording which birds visit the garden,
Taking part in a pond dip to identify the different pond invertebrates.
Cub Scouts will also need to monitor the quality of their local environment using resources developed through the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme, an England-wide initiative that has already helped more than half a million people to explore their local green spaces and learn more about UK wildlife.
Nigel Doar, Head of Development for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “A century after naturalist Charles Rothschild started the organisation now known as The Wildlife Trusts, we’re delighted to be supporting the new Cub Scout Naturalist Activity Badge. Whether people realise it or not, nature is at the roots of our wealth, health and wellbeing, and it’s a source of personal fulfilment, artistic inspiration and spiritual enlightenment. It’s loads of fun, too. Cubs working to earn their Naturalist Badge will be able to get outdoors, to get muddy and wet, and create their own adventures exploring the natural world for themselves. If they enjoy nature as Cubs and come to value it, then it will give them a lifetime of pleasure. The more people that recognise the value of nature to them in future, the better for all of us.”
Philip Broadbent Yale from the National Trust added: “The Trust is very pleased to be supporting this Badge. It is a wonderful way for young people to discover more about the outdoors and experience nature first-hand. We hope it will inspire them to explore open spaces around them, including the many areas of coast and countryside cared for by the National Trust.”