On Sunday 23rd March, a large crowd, both young and old, gathered early in the morning in the Siggiewi Parish Square, all eager to take part in this year’s WALK FOR NATURE!
The Walk for Nature is an annual event organised by the leaders of Klabb Ħuttaf and Dinja Waħda to help raise funds to go towards the work of BirdLife
. This year, the walk saw the addition of BirdLife’s adult members and leaders, who willingly shared their knowledge of Malta ’s wildlife with the next generation. Malta
The aim of the Walk for Nature is to encourage children to experience spring and wildlife first-hand, whilst simultaneously raising awareness for the importance of nature conservation. This year’s 7km walk started from Siggiewi taking the group along the coast to view different habitats including farmland, garrigue and sea cliffs, then finishing outside St Matthew’s Chapel in Il-Maqluba.
There were many highlights on this year’s walk included the Zitting Cisticola. This small insectivorous bird is often seen in
Malta, inhabiting agricultural land and the areas of garrigue. It is a common resident in Malta and can be identified by its zit-zit-zit call.
Another highlight of the walk was the Field Gladiolus. This plant is native to the Mediterranean, and is frequently spotted in cultivated fields and rocky hillsides in
Malta, flowering in March and April. Its vibrant pink petals make it a beautiful addition to the Maltese landscape.
The wall brown butterfly was also sighted, basking on the stone walls along the way. This butterfly uses the warmth of weak sunlight to enable it to fly. It is now less common than it once was in
In addition to such fantastic species spotted on the route, some of the children even found a goat skull, which caused quite a lot of excitement!
Halfway around the 7km walk, an activity on the garrigue was organised by leaders, Desiree Falzon and Kathleen Mamo. The aim of the activity was to teach the children about garrigue as a habitat and investigate the species that typically flower there in spring. The children soon turned into to budding nature detectives, scurrying from one species to the next sniffing flowers, feeling leaves and describing colours. And as the activity drew to a close, one of the featured species, the Zitting Cisticola, swooped low overhead, providing a perfect example of the male bird’s display flight.
As the children approached the finish line, their energy did not diminish! Awaiting them at the end point was an exciting activity organised by Christian Tiller, BirdLife
’s Education Assistant. Each child chose a bird to colour in and then they had to decide where they thought their bird would live. When given a choice of four different habitats, it was not an easy task; however they excelled at spotting the features of a bird that helped match it to its habitat. Malta
The event is one of BirdLife’s most successful and popular events and this year was no exception! A record breaking turnout of 232 people (and 2 dogs!) joined us for the walk, including children from 7 different schools participating as part of the Dinja Waħda programme. The sponsorship raised by the participating children was a spectacular amount of €1,123 and the winner of the most sponsorship raised this year was Giulia Debattista Montalto, who raised a whopping €125! A big well done to Guilia!
Overall, a brilliant day was had by all, and the generosity of BirdLife’s supporters means that we will be able to continue our work to protect
Anyone who would like to make their own donation towards BirdLife Malta’s work for birds and nature conservation in the Maltese Islands can do so on the organisation’s website, www.birdlifemalta.org
Schools, teachers or parents interested in finding out more about the Dinja Waħda programme should have a look at the Dinja Waħda pages on the BirdLife Malta website or email: [email protected]
For more information about Klabb Ħuttaf activities and to join, visit our Klabb Ħuttaf pages or email: [email protected]
Dinja Waħda is Bank of Valletta’s and BirdLife Malta’s environmental education programme for primary schools, carried out in collaboration with the Directorate for Quality Standards in Education (DQSE).Bank of Valletta sponsors Dinja Waħda as part of their ongoing corporate Community Programme.