Minibeasts matter

Minibeasts matter © Forestry Commission

Every creature, whatever its size, deserves our care. Try out Bel Deering’s activity ideas to teach children about the smallest woodland inhabitants and how to treat them respectfully.

When Rabbit began to thump on the ground to warn his friends about the fire, he perhaps didn’t think about the other woodland creatures listening in. From Woodpecker’s post and Owl’s nest, to Hedgehog’s leaf pile and Badger’s underground sett, all manner of minibeasts heard the alarm as well. And this was just as well, because without minibeasts in their woodland home there would be no food for the bigger animals. Badger loves to slurp down worms, eating around 200 a day; Fox likes to snuffle up beetles and cranefly, Hedgehog finds snails quite delicious and as for Woodpecker, he works hard all day drilling beetle larvae out of old trees. Even though Rabbit prefers to nibble grass, he could do not this without the busy underground worms that turn old bits of plant into rich and fertile soil. Now, if Rabbit had realised all that the minibeasts did to help him and his friends survive, no doubt he would have thought to give them a helping hand too. And it is not just when there is a disaster that animals need help – we can make a difference every day. Here are Rabbit’s ideas for learning about minibeasts and being kind to them as well.

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