14 year old Emma and her scout group explored the outdoors, helped to protect insects and had lots of fun while doing so!

“A few weeks ago in our Scout meeting we headed out into the dark, with head-torches and wooly hats. We split into groups, grabbed trowels and bulbs and set off. Using the light of our torches, we dug up the earth. We then gently placed bulbs into the ground and tucked them in under the soil. In the dark of night, we dotted wildflower plants around the beds and troughs. But why were we doing this at night by torchlight? Our troop, the 91st Bristol Scouts, was taking part in Bulbtober, which is a project run by Avon Wildlife Trust that tries to get lots of people to connect with nature by planting bulbs and wildflowers during the month of October. Everything we planted will help insects thrive and this is important, because 40% of insects actually face extinction. You might think that does not matter; you might even find bugs irritating sometimes, but actually 70% of our food relies on insects for pollination, so it is vital to protect them!

Bulbtober is just the sort of thing our Scout troop likes to get involved with, because we love the outdoors and helping nature. We did our planting at The Ardagh at Horfield Common, which is an incredible public space run by volunteers. It is a place full of nature that is open to the whole community to enjoy! We were so pleased to plant the bulbs and wildflowers here, we can’t wait to see them flower in spring and know that lots of people will get to enjoy them. And of course the insects will too! In fact one bulb we planted, the crocus flower, comes up early in spring, so is a great food source for insects when there isn’t much around.

For a couple of months our Scout troop has been having to meet outside because of Covid restrictions. We have made the best of the outdoor space and taking part in Bulbtober was a great opportunity that made the most of being outside and made us feel like we were doing something positive for our environment. Of course, we are now back in lockdown and only able to meet on Zoom, but we are staying positive and we know that it won’t be long until we can get together again. Like the bulbs sitting patiently under the soil waiting to emerge into the sunlight of Spring, we too are being tough about the lockdown and know that a bright future will be blooming soon for all of us.”

Thank you to Emma for sharing her experience and to the hundreds of young people who have planted bulbs and wildflowers across Avon.

The Our Bright Future project at Avon Wildlife Trust has been offering experiences, skills and training through practical activities for more than four years and it is so pleased to be still engaging with its growing community of young conservationists. When so many fun opportunities are being stopped it felt great to be able to offer activities that can be socially distanced. At a time when big life events are turned upside down; leaving home, starting University, building friendships at school and through Scouts and youth clubs, Avon Wildlife Trust was able to offer something exciting to keep those links alive.