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Book characters help teach children about the environment

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Shere Khan jumped off the page in West London last week, when local children took part in A Rocha UK’s summer programme of 'eco-literacy’ ...

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Shere Khan jumped off the page in West London last week, when local children took part in A Rocha UK’s summer programme of 'eco-literacy’.
The children converged on the conservation charity’s Southall centre for the Book Characters Go Wild event. Running from 28 July to 1 August, the week-long playscheme ended with a family barbecue.
Environmental Education Officer David Melville, Communities Officer Kailean Khongsai, Centre Manager Kim Khongsai and Office Manager Maria Masih led the programme.
They helped the children explore such stories as Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows, Beatrix Potter’s The Tale Of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
"For each story, we celebrated the species and asked the children why those animals will be so vulnerable in the future," said David Melville. "Then we offered hope through practical action.
"All this was done with a spirit of adventure by using indoor and garden education. We consolidated the fun learning with arts, crafts, games, drama and songs."
Drinks, fruit and biscuits also helped the children digest such important information. "It didn’t harm to make a chocolate hedgehog cake either," said David.
Halfway through the week, they went on a tour of A Rocha UK’s community garden project at Wolf Fields. "Before we’d even started, a grasshopper had jumped into the net," David added.
"The idea of eco-literacy has much scope. If we’re a nation of wildlife lovers through our literacy, then how are we looking after these creatures?" He said it was "most satisfying" to hear one child tell her father, "Dad we have to buy some hedgehog food on the way home?"
A Rocha UK’s popular summer playschemes continue with Who Wants Your Dinner? from 11-15 August. Children aged five to seven are invited to join the team for an adventure at Minet Country Park, Hayes.
"We’ll be foraging for food," said David, "and seeing how mammals, birds and insects do the same. Children can find out which wild foods humans can safely eat – and which animals would like to share it!"

To register your child, call Maria Masih on 020 8574 5935 or email

PHOTO: West London children take part in A Rocha UK’s Book Characters Go Wild week at Wolf Fields community garden. Environmental Education Officer David Melville and Centre Manager Kim Khongsai show the youngsters a grasshopper

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