Saplings

An environment group for young people

The Saplings was set up in the autumn of 2019 as an Environment Group for young people.

Membership of the group is free and offers young people opportunities to take a closer look at their natural local environment, have opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have, go places they wouldn’t normally go and enjoy asking questions and finding out.

Due to Covid restrictions the Saplings are currently meeting via Zoom. Please email aeg@addingham.info for details.

In normal times The Saplings meet on the first Saturday of the month in the Village Hub between 10.00 – 12.00 and often spend part of the session indoors and part of the session out of doors. They are quite an intrepid group and generally don’t let the weather interfere with operations, however the leaders always have a Plan B for indoor activities just in case the weather is really bad.

Visitors with particular skills, interests or expertise are often invited to lead sessions and the Saplings also receive invitations to visit local places of interest. Parents and guardians often stay to enjoy the session.

What the Saplings do

Here is a taste of some of the activities that the Saplings have enjoyed.

They studied hedgehogs with Stephanie from the Hedgehog Rescue in Bingley when she brought a hoglet for them to meet.

  An autumn study involved finding where local fungi grow and looking at them in detail back in the Hub.

Maggie from the West Yorkshire Bat Group spent a morning in the Hub and brought two tiny rescue Pipistrelle bats for the group to study.

Visitor, Ann, showed the Saplings how to dissect owl pellets and use microscopes to identify the bones of tiny mammals that the owls had eaten.

Late winter saw the group out and about  in the village counting the resident birds and making bird feeders for their gardens.

In early Spring The Walking Photographer joined the group and spent the morning sharing his knowledge about taking good quality wildlife photos.

The Saplings had an invitation from local farmer, Michael Flesher, to visit his farm to see the lambs and a new litter of piglets – all great fun

Membership

If you would like to apply for membership contact the Environment Group at: aeg@addingham.info

Here is some of the more formal information:

Organisation:

  • Adults: Leader Debs Griffiths plus up to 6 team members .

A minimum of two adults to be present at indoor sessions, and three at outdoor sessions.

  • Adult: Children Ratios: Ratio adults to children  Indoors 8 children: 1 adult, Outdoors 5 children : 1 adult
  • Parents/grandparents welcome, but must join in as a volunteer.
  • DBS checks With any group of children there must be at least one adult with a DBS check.

Registration

All those interested in joining the group must complete a registration form giving:

    • Name and Address of carer/s
    • Name and Age of child/children
    • Home contact details
    • Mobile contact details
    • Email address
    • Emergency contact details
    • Allergies and Medical conditions of children 
    • Photography permission
    • Permission for use of photographs on AEG Facebook page. No children named.

Training for leaders

  • Health & Safety
  • First Aid
  • Safeguarding

Children

    • Number of children – 12
    • Age of children 5 – 15 years of age
    • Children with additional needs (accompanied by carer)
    • Visiting children or groups (by arrangement)
    • Clothing suitable for activities and weather conditions.

Health and Safety

    • Allergies, medical conditions
    • First Aid
    • Venue
    • Outings – High viz jackets for children and leaders, Children will be allocated to named leader, bracelet tags may be required to be worn.
    • Separate arrangements for proximity to water bodies.
    • Photography – permissions see membership form
    • Safeguarding

 

Venue The Hub

  • Sessions to coincide with AEG adult volunteer sessions
  • Frequency of sessions – Monthly 
  • Length of sessions – Saturday 10.00 – 12.00

Policies

    • Safeguarding
    • Health and Safety
    • Weather conditions
    • Ratio of adults to children. Club for 5 years and above ratio 1:8 indoors 1:5 outdoors. Children with additional needs 1:1

The Saplings adult: children ratios are more stringent that the Department of Education which states 1:15 for 5 year olds and above.

Insurance

Cover is provided by Locktons (ACS insurers)

Communication

    • Communication between organisers and carers about organisational issues is via email in the first instance. Facebook and telephone as backup.
    • Feedback about activities via email.
    • A Facebook closed group may be set up (permission dependent).

 

Weather conditions

Decision regarding outdoor activities to be made on the day.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment for indoor activities to include the venue and the activities.

Risk assessment for outdoor activities generic plus specific for each venue.

Attendance

  • Attendance of the young people and adults will be registered at the beginning of each meeting.
  • Copies of registers will be kept.

Funding

  • Membership is free of charge.
  • The use of all equipment and resources is free of charge.
  • Funding is provided by AEG.
  • Should significant funding be required AEG Steering Committee would consider funding sources.

Sample annual timetable   Each session to be planned as optional outdoor or indoor

Month

Outdoor

Indoor

Notes

January

Trip with the Ranger at Bolton Abbey

Who is hibernating and where?

 

February

Frog spawn

Bird watching through the seasons

Prepare an indoor aquarium

Make a bird feeder

 

March

Lambing live

Create homes for insects

Plant seeds

Create homes for insects

 

April

Skim stones

Otter/badger watching

Make a hedgehog house

 

May

Nature trails

Bird watching through the seasons

bird migration – maybe sponsor a bird called Sapling!

Fun quizzes

Treasure map

 

June

Pond dipping

making a paper boat

Float it indoors

 

July

Butterfly watching

Inner city children to one of our sessions in the Summer – maybe a nature trail followed by a Teddy Bears picnic

Roll down a hill

Cut out/draw key local bee and butterfly species

Design our own nature walk

 

August

Collect leaves

Cook (adults) outdoors/make a den

Bird watching through the seasons

Leaf rubbings

Make a salad veg or fruit from allotment

 

September

Blackberry picking

Bat watching

bird migration – maybe sponsor a bird called Sapling!

Make a hedgehog house

Follow a sponsored bird’s migration route

 

October

Plant a sapling

Fly a kite

Astronomy

Make a kite

Astronomy

 

November

Bird watching through the seasons

Try blackberry jam

Bat talk

 

December

Nature walk

Leaf skeletons,

Tree shapes