Tiger worms are not the most obvious choice of pet but they're much less expensive than keeping a school hamster. A regular supply of kitchen scraps tossed into their own eco-friendly worm "hotel" will guarantee contented worms and heaps of rich compost for your school grounds and gardens.
* The TigerWorm Compost Bin is made from recycled newspapers and is weatherproof and durable. Designed to blend naturally into its surroundings, it looks like a patio plant container. For schools with only a small area available, the bin is compact enough to be placed in a shed.
The kit comprises two containers, lid, floater, ground limestone, instructions and a starter supply of tiger worms. The bin can be used as an educational tool for children and factsheets are available.
Worms Eat Our Garbage is a photocopiable activity book that integrates earthworm activities with soil science, plant growth studies and ecological issues.
The compost bin (Pounds 49) and activity book (Pounds 15.50) are available from: The Recycle Works, The Rookery, Chatburn, Clitheroe BB7 4AW. Tel: 01200 440600.
* Learning through Landscapes, the national school grounds charity, recently received a grant of over Pounds 199,000 from the National Lottery Charities Board. This has been earmarked to help schools realise the potential of their grounds and encourage them to work towards a greener environment.
Last year more than 9,000 schools made contact with Learning through Landscapes, and there are already 2,500 projects in operation.
An advice unit and national network unit will be launched by Christmas and these will offer information about good practice as well as providing training, technical and legal advice.
For further information, contact: Learning through Landscapes, Third Floor, Southside Offices, The Law Courts, Winchester SO23 9DL. Tel: 01962 846258.
* BBC Wildlife Magazine and Tusk Force are inviting children aged from five to 16 to take part in the Wild at Heart Conservation Awards scheme, which has been set up to inspire children throughout the United Kingdom to learn about the world's ecology and enjoy themselves while they do it.
Five challenges have to be completed, and in doing so it is hoped this will encourage the participants to develop a keen and lasting interest in the environment, nature, endangered animals and conservation in general, both in their own back gardens and globally. Many of the activities also complement classroom work for key stage 2 and 3 in subjects such as English, maths, science and art.
For a registration pack, contact: Tusk Force, Ravenscourt House, 123 Askew Road, Shepherds Bush, London W12 9AU. Tel: 0181 743 8855; fax: 0181 743 6655.
Completed registration forms should be returned to Tusk Force by April 24, 1998. A Wild at Heart Conservation Awards pack will then be sent to entrants. The closing date for all five completed challenges is May 29, 1998.
The best regional entries will be chosen by Chris Packham, former presenter of The Really Wild Show, and these will go on to the national final.