Chough Olympics at Lafrowda

Chough Olympics at Lafrowda 2012
Chough Olympic Stall at Lafrowda 2012

In July, we  were pleased to be asked to join in with the Lafrowda celebrations. In keeping with this year's theme for Lafrowda, (the Alternative Olympics), we hosted the 'Chough Olympics'; a range of traditional carnival games specially adapted with a chough theme.

Debi 'tots' up the scores
Debi 'tots' up the scores

There was information and fun for all the family. Alongside a vibrant display we had  'leatherjacket welly-wanging', 'Olympic beanbag tossing', a 'chough food race', an 'egg trail' and 'guess how many leatherjackets in the cowpat' competition, (which was not quite as smelly as it sounds with a specially crafted papier-mâché cowpat stuffed with jelly beans).

Leather Jacket Welly Wanging
Leather Jacket Welly Wanging

Both local children and visitors had a fantastic time in the Plen-an-Gwarry returning to the stall throughout the afternoon to play the various Chough-Olympic games, through which they also learned about conservation. Although the Chough-Olympic games were not easy, over 20 medals were awarded, and there are now some very proud children sporting their chough medals.

Chough Olympic Winners - Lafrowda 2012
Chough Olympic Winners - Pictured from left to right Annabel, William and Thomas. Thomas was the overall winner scoring an impressive 177 points.

St Buryan Academy Parade as Choughs at Lafrowda 2012
St Buryan Academy Parade as Choughs at Lafrowda 2012

Chough Project Officer Catherine Lee said  'It was a fantastic day, we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and knowledge of local children, and their curiosity about choughs and some really important and complicated conservation issues. It was great to see so many children enjoying the games, proof that learning can be fun!  One of the day's highlights, was seeing a giant chough paraded through the centre of St Just followed by a chattering* of little choughs from St Buryan Academy who have recently adopted the chough as their school emblem. It is great to see so many people becoming passionate about the choughs, they really are a very special bird.'

*Chattering is the collective noun for chough.

The RSPB's education work in Cornwall is being delivered through the Local Action For Rural Communities Programme by the West Cornwall Local Action Group on behalf of the South West of England Regional Development Agency with Defra as the Managing Authority, and is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for European Development 2007-2013: Europe investing in rural areas.

West Cornwall Local Action Group

Education

Over the last fortnight Cat has been visiting primary schools throughout West Cornwall introducing Charlie (our new furry chough friend) and the ‘Return of the Chough’ story through a number of assemblies and chough based activity sessions. The sessions are inspiring and educational and are well received by both children and staff, setting the scene as the RSPB’s education work expands in the South West region.

 Over the past two weeks, Cat has visited over 5 new schools, sharing the news about the chough's historic return with over 350 children.

Cat is also leading FREE guided tours and activity sessions for school groups at Marazion Marsh, Cornwall’s wetland reserve.

If you know a school that would like a FREE guided visit to Marazion Marsh, and /or a visit from Cat & Charlie, please get in touch cat.leemarr@rspb.org.uk

Get Involved

We are always looking for new volunteers for chough monitoring and for our education and events work, if you are interested please get in touch with Cat: cat.leemarr@rspb.org.uk

...and don't forget to keep your chough sighting reports coming in, email them to us at : cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk