Over 50 pupils from Oakwood Integrated Primary School visited Danske Bank’s Killeaton House offices in Dunmurry this week to participate in the 2019 Big Schools’ Birdwatch.


Launched in 2002, the Big Schools’ Birdwatch is run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and gives children the chance to get outdoors and discover the nature that lives in their local community. It is the school version of the Big Garden Birdwatch, which anyone can take part in from 26 to 28 January.


The P4 and P5 pupils from Oakwood IPS visited Danske’s Dunmurry site, which is surrounded by trees and hedges, to complete their bird survey. Among the most common sightings for the children were robins, blackbirds and woodpigeons, with a number of chaffinches, magpies, jackdaws and collared doves also spotted during the watch.


Rosie McCann, from Danske Bank’s environment team, explained why the bank got behind the Big Schools’ Birdwatch:

“We believe that businesses have an important role to play in enhancing and protecting local biodiversity and are working on a number of projects to help support it. Last year we planted wildflower gardens and installed bird boxes at our Dunmurry site to help support and enhance biodiversity.


“We knew that Killeaton was home to a variety of bird species but hadn’t counted them before, so we were delighted to invite the pupils from Oakwood IPS along to participate in the birdwatch, alongside some of our own colleagues who volunteered to take part.” 


Catherine O’Boyle, RSPB NI Learning Development Officer, said: “Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a fun, educational activity that gives children an opportunity to get outside, experience and learn about wildlife local to them. The birdwatchers from Oakwood IPS and Danske Bank made lots of exciting discoveries and provided valuable information on how our birds are faring. This is a fantastic example of a business and school working together to look after our birds.”