Teachers & Kids Pages

Historically in the 1800’s and 1900’s many of our raptors species were shot or poisoned in Northern Ireland and sadly we lost many species from our shores, including the last pair of golden eagles which bred in Co. Antrim in the 1950’s. Nowadays many species are doing well, such as the buzzard, which has spread across Northern Ireland over the past 30 years after their extinction and species such as the red kite, golden eagle and white-tailed eagle have more recently been reintroduced and are now breeding in the wild again. Unfortunately many of our raptors still face issues with their habitat being destroyed and sadly several raptors are illegally shot or poisoned each year in Northern Ireland. The kestrel, which many people may be familiar with hovering at the side of our roads and motorways is also declining and we don’t know why.

We believe it is important that our children understand the importance of the environment, the ecosystem around us and the importance of each species, including the raptors in our countryside and towns. In 2014, we were awarded a grant from the Challenge Fund to carry out an Interactive Raptor Education Programme and visited 12 primary schools, with two in every county, across Northern Ireland. This initial programme was completed on the 26th March 2014.

NIRSG have been fortunate to obtain further funding from the 2015 Challenge Fund for our project “Raptor Education & Awareness Programme” which runs until the end of March 2015 and therefore we will be visiting many more schools across Northern Ireland.

As part of an additional funding package from the Challenge Fund we have also produced educational resources for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 which can be downloaded here:


The NIRSG can provide educational programmes on a variety of raptor topics, looking at the lives and habits of some of our most iconic birds of prey. The workshop provides a unique set of educational opportunities for children. We consider the talks being educational, informative, enjoyable and of interest to all ages of primary school children. We utilise experienced education service providers to deliver the project to provide high quality, factual and fun learning experiences which will provide valuable raptor conservation understanding to school children and integrates with many areas of the curriculum.

Our raptor experts can attend your school for a half day and deliver an interactive talk to all age groups which will focus on understanding what native raptor species occur in Northern Ireland and the importance of raptors to local biodiversity, their habitats, life-cycle, the history of our different raptor species, the threats facing them and what the future holds for these special birds. We show the children what equipment we use to monitor and watch the raptors in Northern Ireland and also bring along some tame native raptors to allow first-hand experience of these birds up-close and encourage them to look for these same species in the wild in their own communities.

Fill in the form below if you would like to find out more information about costs and available dates for our educational team to visit you.

Book a school visit

    YES we would like to participate in the Interactive Raptor Education Programme.

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    So we can bring enough school workbooks with us please let us know how many children will be attending:

    Foundation Year:

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    YES, we are happy for a small number of group photographs to be taken during the visit for project publicityNO, we would prefer photographs are not taken during the visit for project publicity

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    Comments or things you need to know prior to visiting your school