Pic of the Week
For this week’s piece of sustainable ‘feel-good’ news we have the Wood White butterfly. Saved from extinction in the South of England over the last 10 years by amazingly dedicated and expert volunteers creating the right habitat and diet, they now breed twice a year!
Harry Clarke (Surrey County Butterfly Recorder, who helps manage the Butterfly Conservation reserve at Oaken Wood) writes:
“10 years ago, this magical looking butterfly was well on the way to extinction in Southern England. But thanks to the efforts of volunteers and experts at Butterfly Conservation’s Oaken Wood reserve in Chiddingfold Forest in West Surrey, the future is looking better.
The Wood White is like a delicate fairy flying along the sunny rides and glades. They have a specialised diet and can only eat plants in the pea family of:
- Common Bird’s-foot trefoil
- Greater Bird’s-foot trefoil
- Bitter Vetch
- Meadow Vetchling
- Tufted Vetch
In the South of England, Wood White butterflies have two broods a year. Up North where it is a bit colder, they only manage one. Wood White caterpillars are a beautiful shade of green to help them hide from hungry birds. Volunteers manage the woodland rides and glades to keep them open so these wonderful butterflies can get the food they need to thrive in the South of England.”
For those of us (me included) who felt the weather in the 1st quarter of 2020 was a bit rubbish, well it wasn’t all bad news! UK Electricity generated from renewables climbed to a record breaking 47%, and that included wind AND solar. Helped by storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge wind generated a giant 30% slice of the total! The Guardian reports the 1st Quarter energy generation split as follows:
- Renewables 47%
- Gas 31.4%
- Nuclear 15.1%
- Coal 3.8%
- Oil & others 2.7%
Education is for everyone regardless of background, circumstance and learning style. That’s our ethos at LLE, and in every class we teach our ‘learning by doing’ activities ensure that STEM and sustainability is for every pupil.
Unfortunately Covid lock-downs have stopped this ideal dead in its tracks and we are genuinely concerned that the next generation of citizens will be long on belief about sustainability but short on the knowledge and community skills to effect change.
Isolated at home, on smartphones and laptops, our style of practical learning with pupil lead experiments, reflection and planning is not happening.
Great scientists and inventors (Curie, Galilei, Marconi, Volta) were all experimenters and this is what pupils need.