Nature Guardians

Are you curious about what it’s like to manage a nature reserve, dive into habitat restoration, and uncover fascinating facts about local flora and fauna through hands-on research? Now you can try it!

Since 2022, every autumn and spring BirdLife Malta has been providing an opportunity for children who want to try the role of nature reserve warden! Following the resounding success of our first three courses in autumn 2022, spring and autumn 2023, we are now running our Nature Guardians spring programme again for 2024. The course starts in mid-March and will run for 12 consecutive Saturdays until the start of June 2024.

Explore the Nature Guardians programme with BirdLife Malta! Follow this space for details about upcoming courses. More details in the tabs below.

Watch this video summing up the spring 2023 edition of Nature Guardians!

Course highlights

🟧 Who can join: This incredible opportunity is perfect for nature enthusiasts aged 7 to 12. We keep our groups small, with a maximum of 12 participants, to ensure individual attention.

🟧 What to expect: Fun, knowledge and new friends in a safe open-air environment.

🟧 Course duration: Twelve captivating sessions, spanning over three months, that will lead you on a memorable adventure through four stunning nature reserves: Simar, Salina, Għadira, and Foresta 2000.

🟧 Learn and explore: Guided by our dedicated BirdLife Malta staff, young Nature Guardians will:

✅ Monitor water quality and discover the impact of salinity and oxygen levels on Malta’s national fish, the Mediterranean Killifish
✅ Plan and implement habitat restoration projects
✅ Dive into the world of water inhabitants with microscopes
✅ Construct insect hotels and place them in the reserves
✅ Gain insights into the lives of hedgehogs on Maltese Islands
✅ Learn propagation techniques and master the art of planting seeds
✅ Plant flora they would have grown themselves!
✅ Explore the world of birdwatching and discover the captivating migration patterns of birds, and much more including bird ringing sessions!

Graduation and beyond

Upon completing the course, a special graduation ceremony awaits, where participants are awarded a certificate officially designating them as fully fledged Nature Guardians. However, the true value lies not in the certificate, but in the enriching experience children gain while connecting with nature — a respite from the pressures of traffic, schoolwork, computers, and social media.

As children progress through the course, they form close-knit bonds and friendships, fostering teamwork. We encourage them to continue their conservation journey by participating in monthly activities and even organizing events themselves through the Nature Guardians Council.

How to apply

🟢 Application period: Applications open bi-annually, in August and February.

🟢 Meeting point and time: All sessions convene at Salina Nature Reserve, with transport provided to the various reserves on session days. The sessions are normally held on Saturday mornings, starting at 08:30 and finishing at 11:30.

🟢 Course fee: The course fee of €260 includes all 12 sessions, a Nature Guardians T-shirt and cap, transport to the different reserves, and a course guide booklet which you can use as a notebook at every session.

🟢 Enrolment process: To enrol, you will be requested to simply complete a Google form. Afterward, you would need to finalize your booking by making an online payment — links to the payment facility will be included in the Google Form. Bookings are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis upon payment receipt.

For any inquiries or to reserve your spot ahead of the application opening, please contact us via email at: [email protected] and [email protected].

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to become a Nature Guardian and leave a lasting impact on Malta’s precious natural wonders. Join us today and embark on an incredible journey of conservation and discovery!

Testimonials

Nature Guardians video