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Geography - Plan to save the wildcats

What it's all about

Did you know that the Scottish wildcat is more endangered than the tiger? Or that one of its last remaining habitats is in the hills surrounding Newtonmore? asks Paula Owens. The inhabitants of this Cairngorm village, especially pupils at the local primary, have a cunning plan to raise awareness and keep this issue current.

Cue the Wildcat Experience: 192 fibreglass models painted with witty designs and documented in a booklet available from the village Wildcat Centre. Nearly as hard to spot as the real thing, they are hidden in gardens, shop windows and on pub roofs. Children happily spend hours finding these cats, deepening their knowledge of place and community.

There is some great geography here that could be adapted to suit your school and setting. Find out about Newtonmore and compare it with your own locality. By walking to school or just strolling around your area, you can investigate the creatures or plants that are disappearing from your locality and discover why: enquire about the importance of location in determining habitats and the changes brought about by the interaction between human and natural worlds. You could also create a map of endangered species in the British Isles.

After identifying the local species you want to champion, you will need some models to decorate and place on your trail. Finally, design a booklet containing a trail map to showcase the fruits of your geographical enquiry.

What else?

For more information about the Wildcat Experience in Newtonmore, see: bit.lywildcattrail

Find out why beavers and brown bears no longer roam the British wilderness in phlibowuk's lesson on extinction and endangered animals. bit.lybritishbeasts.

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