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Here is an article published by the Guardian Newspaper that may be of interest if you have any budding young naturalists.

We’re on the hunt for young nature lovers – do you know any?

Spring is on its way, and Young Country Diary is once again open for submissions. Every three months we ask you to send us a piece about the natural world, written by a child aged 8-14. The article can be about anything to do with nature – whether it’s cliff-top birdwatching, a worm in the garden or a spring walk in the park.

It doesn’t matter if the child is a nature expert or has never picked up a pair of binoculars. We are especially keen to reach teachers who might like to get their class outside and noticing nature.

We will pick six winning entries to be published in the Guardian newspaper and online – two in March, two in April and two in May. Then we will do another callout for summer pieces at the start of June.

How your child can take part

First of all, we’re looking for children age 8 to 14, so we will need your permission, as parent or guardian. Then here’s what the child needs to do:

Step 1 – Go out one day to where there is some nature. It could be their local woods or beach, their nearest park, a farm, or it could simply be a garden.

Step 2 – Write an article telling us where they were and what happened. The article needs to be between 200 and 250 words. Photos/drawings are helpful (especially landscape rather than portrait) but they are not a condition of entry.

Step 3 – Send the article to us using the form below. We ask that you fill in the form rather than the child. NB Photos/drawings cannot be attached to the form, so please state in the “more information” section if you have some.

If they get stuck and don’t know what to write about, here are a few hints and tips to pass on to them:

 Good nature writing starts with the senses – so what did you see and hear? What about smell and touch? Take notes when you’re out and about so you don’t forget

 How would you describe what happened? Did it remind you of anything?

 It’s great to look up some extra information about what you saw, and tell us about that too. For example, if you saw some blue tits feeding – what do they eat? Do they eat a lot? What are blue tits normally doing at this time of year?

 You can think big, and describe the whole scene – the sky, the horizon, the landscape. Or you can think small, and tell us some details about the butterfly’s wings or the beetle’s markings.

 What did your encounter with nature make you think about? How did it make you feel?

The deadline for entry is Thursday 31 March. Anyone can enter their child who is aged between 8 and 14 and based in the UK. You the parent/guardian will be contacted if your child’s piece is selected for publication, and you will be paid on behalf of the child.

Click here for more details

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