Haberdashers’ Monmouth School and the Mammal Society Launch New Schools Programme

June 14, 2024

As part of #GreatBigGreenWeek, Year 12 student Dylan, known for his Hedgehog Aware campaign, extended his conservation efforts to schools in Monmouthshire. Dylan, who has been featured on BBC’s Countryfile and Springwatch, visited Osbaston, Overmonnow, Monmouth Comprehensive, and Kymin View, distributing two camera traps to each school and delivering engaging, informative talks.

Supported by the Mammal Society, this exciting new schools programme will enable children to observe and record mammal activity in their school grounds and contribute to filling data gaps through hands-on, student-led citizen science. Thanks to Dylan’s hard work and a generous £1,000 grant from WWF this initiative is set to inspire and involve students in environmental conservation.

Fiona Day, Educating and Training Officer at the Mammal Society, said “It is inspiring to see so many young people getting involved in mammal monitoring! It’s particularly heartening to know that this project is being led by someone as ambitious and dedicated as Dylan. Mammals are integral to our lives and landscapes, playing crucial roles in our ecosystems as pollinators, ecosystem architects, predators, and prey. Beyond their ecological importance, they are woven into our folklore, history, and culture, celebrated in fashion, art, and literature. Due to their elusive and nocturnal nature we seldom encounter mammals, leading to them being severely under-recorded. The Monmouth Mammal Monitoring Project helps to overcome these challenges, enabling local schools to not only discover the mammals on their campuses but also to collect vital data on local mammal populations. With one in four mammals at risk of extinction, community and youth engagement in conservation efforts is more critical than ever, ensuring a future where mammals and healthy ecosystems thrive.”

The participating schools will reconvene on the second day of the upcoming sustainability conference to share their findings and discuss future steps. The highly anticipated sustainability conference, Local to Global, taking place on 30th June to 2nd July. The three-day event will feature knowledge sharing, skill-building, and inspiring talks from notable speakers, including BBC wildlife presenter Kate Humble and Future Generations Minister for Wales, Derek Walker. Dylan will also be presenting, sharing his passion for conservation and inspiring future generations to take action for the planet.

Gerry Stentiford, Head of Sustainability, expressed excitement for the conference: “By hosting the conference, we are hoping to build momentum in Monmouth for action towards conservation and sustainability.  We have been training our own students and staff to become FRESK facilitators so that they can run workshops to teach the children attending the conference the fundamental science behind climate change and empower them to take action.”

“Dylan has been an inspiration to us all at HMS and is very much part of the movement for change. His tireless campaigning for hedgehog conservation and now his work with The Mammal Society, is so infectious. He will be running a number of our sessions during the conference and his enthusiasm can’t help but rub off on the young delegates.”

For more information, keep an eye out for the full film of this project on our website.