Wildlife star Steve brings adventure to schoolchildren

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TV ADVENTURER Steve Backshall made a surprise visit to a school after pupils won a national competition.

Pupils at Mengham Juniors on Hayling Island won the visit from nature enthusiast Steve for coming first in the Digimaps for Schools wildlife map competition run by Ordnance Survey.

The competition saw primary schoolchildren across Britain take wildlife photos and plot them on a map of their school’s area and submit it along with three questions they had for Steve.

Steve surprised pupils by appearing morning assembly at the school in Palmerston Road.

Afterwards, he took pupils on a nature walk around the school.

Steve, who is an Ordnance Survey Champion, picked Mengham Juniors as the overall winner.

He said: ‘Out of all the entries we received, Mengham’s was the most grabbing.

‘Most of the photos we received were of generic creatures but the children here managed to capture some really exciting ones.

‘It’s been a fantastic morning and this is such a great school. The kids are full of enthusiasm and their fascination for wildlife is better yet.’

The three winning entries were from Year 6 pupils Kelvin Holdstock, Jake Wilkes and Alex Germain.

Kelvin took a photo of a group of crabs under some rocks, Jake found a nest of ants and Alex captured a lizard on the island.

All three told of their excitement at winning and meeting Steve.

Kelvin said: ‘It was amazing and I’m such a big fan of Steve’s. It’s been really good having him at the school and getting to ask him lots of questions.’

Alex added: ‘I was so shocked when I saw Steve walk in.’

Jake said: ‘I can’t believe we have won. Meeting Steve has been so much fun.’

Natalie Simack, lead geography teacher, said: ‘It’s been like a dream come true for the children.

‘We didn’t tell them we had won so they only found out in the morning when Steve walked into the assembly. It was amazing to capture the surprise on their faces.

‘We nearly missed the deadline for the competition but then I saw it had been extended to the end of June so that was extremely lucky.’

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