Fareham youngster earns an RSPB award

DIGGING IN Jacob Stokes
DIGGING IN Jacob Stokes
Picture: Dan Russell/Twitter

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GREEN-fingered Jacob Stokes is now the proud recipient of an award from the RSPB after creating a pond in his garden.

The conservation charity presented the eight-year-old, from Fareham, with the Gold Wildlife Action award after being so impressed with his efforts.

Jacob submerged a vegetable trough into the soil and surrounded it with stones to create a rockery.

He wanted to encourage newts to hibernate and he included a sunken ceramic flowerpot as refuge for frogs.

The wildlife enthusiast, who is a member of his local RSPB Wildlife Explorers group, even wrote a letter to 10 Downing Street expressing his thoughts about proposals to cull buzzards.

He said: ‘I’ve enjoyed encouraging wildlife and helping them.’

Jacob’s mum Richenda Stokes said: ‘We’re really proud of Jacob. He has loved working towards this award and is already planning his next wildlife project.’

The awards were introduced in 1995 and more than 10,000 youngsters have taken part. More than 100 ponds and more than 200 wildlife gardens have been created as part of the awards, as well as 4,500 nestboxes.

Around 2,000 children have written to their MPs on issues from protecting the marine environment to recycling waste.

The national awards were devised to help connect children with nature and involve them in practical activities to help their environment.

RSPB says the growing disconnection between children and nature is one of the biggest threats facing the natural world and wildlife.

Don Fuller, youth officer for the RSPB in the south east, said: ‘There has been increasing talk in recent years of children becoming detached from nature, with fewer opportunities than ever for outdoor exploration.

‘But Jacob, and the thousands of other children who have done these awards, demonstrate that children are still incredibly interested in nature, they want to find insects, dig ponds, get dirty and explore. They just need to be given the green light to do it.’