Education News Letter

2017 was not only a record year for the Rutland Ospreys (8 pairs raised 15 chicks to the free-flying stage) – it was also a record year for the Osprey Education Team! Between March and September we had 57 bookings for school and youth group visits, either in schools or here at the Lyndon Reserve, and we met well over 3,500 young people during the season! A lot of that success was down to our outstanding team of young Osprey Ambassadors, who attended the monthly meetings in the Wader Scrape hide in Manton Bay, and took all the news about Maya and her family back to their schools for us. This meant that teachers and students throughout Rutland were kept up to date – many schools organised their visits after hearing the exciting news from their Ambassadors!

Records are there to be broken… for 2018 we are hoping that the Ospreys of Rutland Water will enjoy even more success, and maybe the number of breeding pairs will reach double figures! That would be amazing!
We expect that many of our Ambassadors will stay on for another year, but some have moved on to new schools and may not wish to continue. So we will be looking for some new faces, as well as welcoming back old friends as well.

World Osprey Week – 12 to 18TH March 2018

The Ospreys will begin their long migration from West Africa back to Rutland in March, and World Osprey Week or WOW celebrates the return of the Rutland Ospreys. The website has the latest news about the migration of the Rutland Ospreys and some bird have satellite trackers, which means that we can monitor their progress north! It is a truly international event with migration “flyways” in Europe, West Asia, and the Americas.

WOW Skype at English Martyrs, Oakham

Free school educational resources

It is possible for teachers to deliver lessons using Osprey based resources! Ideal for World Osprey Week!!!
Schools, home school groups and other educational groups can simply register and then download and use our FREE primary and secondary teaching resources. These include worksheets (with teacher’s notes), lesson plans, fun activities and project ideas that cover a wide range of national curriculum subjects.

Education team in action at a Rutland school

“Inspired by Ospreys” – our creative competition for 2018

This year we have an exciting “Inspired by Ospreys” competition for young people. There are three categories and these are; A drawing or painting (A4), a short story (no more than 600 words),or a poem (no more than one side A4) There are two age groups; 11 years and under and 12 years and over. Full details and dates are on Rutland Osprey website .On the Education tab click on “2018 Competition Inspired by Ospreys”

Osprey Ambassadors

Osprey Ambassadors are school pupils who are the link between the Osprey Project and their school. Take a look at the Ambassadors page on the Rutland Ospreys website for more information. Follow this link …

World Osprey Week – Ambassadors Warm-up

All Osprey Ambassadors (with a supervising teacher or adult) are invited to a World Osprey Week “Warm-up” on Sunday 4th March 2-4pm, at the Volunteer Training Centre, Rutland Water. More information will be sent directly to ambassadors.

Waderscrape hide, Lyndon Reserve

Ambassadors Osprey Club

This held on the first Sunday EACH MONTH from April – September 2018
This takes place at the Lyndon Nature Reserve, Rutland Water, in the Wader Scrape hide from 2-4pm
Contact Ken for any information about Ambassadors and Osprey Club

We can visit your local school

The Education Team can visit local schools to give assemblies, or short presentations or educational activities. All the team are experienced teachers. More information about school visits is on our website at…
E-mail Ken for advice or to make a booking.

Visiting Lyndon to see the Ospreys

Educational groups can visit Lyndon to see the Rutland Ospreys. The best months to visit are May to July. If you would like to visit the Lyndon Reserve with any educational group, take a look at what the Rutland Osprey Education Team can offer at
It would be worth planning ahead to book your visit for 2018! Please offer us a choice of dates for you visit giving as much notice as possible.
E-mail Ken for visit advice or visit bookings at


Three osprey books for young people written by Ken Davies, feature the adventures and migrations of Ozzie the Osprey. All have been reprinted and are now available for sale at our Visitor Centres and in local bookshops in Oakham, Oundle and Peterborough. See for full details. A special signed, updated, numbered, hardback limited edition of Ozzie Leads The Way is due in March 2018. Ken is currently writing a new story about wintering Ospreys in Senegal and the people who study them.

Jackie, Pete and Ken, Osprey Education Team

Winter Work Parties

This year the osprey team is taking a break from the annual trip to The Gambia (although if you caught our last blog you will see we’ve still been getting great osprey updates from West Africa!). Instead, we’ve been keeping busy at the Lyndon reserve, with weekly work parties led by Information Officer Paul Stammers.
A team of around 20 osprey monitoring volunteers keep volunteering throughout the winter, carrying out practical work on the reserve to ensure it remains in top condition for wildlife and for visitors.

Coppicing and burning trees near Swan hide (Roy Edwards)

The team have carried out a range of tasks this winter, including coppicing woodland, weaving willow fences, brush cutting and raking meadows, and cutting back hedges.

Breaking through tarmac to put in fence posts (Sarah Box)

Fence posts in (Sarah Box)

Willow weaving complete (Sarah Box)

Coppicing willow on the shoreline near Teal hide in December (Sarah Box)

After all the hard work everyone returns to the visitor centre for Paul’s homemade soup and cake made by volunteer Jan. Look at the excellent work party themed Christmas cake she made…

Thank you to all the volunteers who help keep Lyndon at its best over winter, ready for the return of the ospreys and the visitors they bring in the spring. It won’t be long now!

Sightings in the Sun

With all the recent snow, it now feels quite some time since we saw an osprey at Rutland Water, and whilst it won’t be long before they are here again, it is always great to hear news of Rutland birds out in West Africa. Volunteer Chris Wood is currently on holiday in Senegal, and has been spending some time at the Sine-Saloum Delta in the north of the country. This morning Chris got in touch today to report a sighting of 32(11)!

32(11) in Senegal

You may recall that this is not the first time 32(11) has been spotted in West Africa. He was seen in January of this year by members of the team, and was spotted for the first time back in 2016. 32 was born in Manton Bay back in 2011, to Maya and 5R(04) (making his grandfather the well-loved osprey 03(97)!). This time he was spotted on the same bit of salt marsh he was seen on in January. This is to be expected – we know from 30(05)’s data that ospreys return to the same place each winter, often to the exact same perch!

The weather in Senegal looks a lot more osprey-friendly than the current scene on Lagoon 4!

Osprey Ambassadors’ Party

Osprey Ambassadors are children in local primary and secondary schools in the Stamford and Rutland area, who act as the link between the Rutland Osprey Project and their school. The Osprey Ambassadors Party, was held on Sunday 1st October 2017.

The Rutland Ospreys have now all migrated to West Africa, and this week end a special event marked the end of the 2017 osprey season. Bye-bye Osprey week or BOW finished with an Osprey Ambassadors party!

Seventeen children, who are Osprey Ambassadors in eleven local schools, accompanied by thie family and friends met at the Volunteer Training Centre on Sunday. This end of season party was organised by the Osprey Education Team, and Pete Jackie and Ken gave a special thank-you to the children for their hard work in their schools during the year, and their continued active interest in this project.

We began with brief highlights of the year, including World Osprey Week in March, the “Ospreys and us Video” competition, our links with the Urdaibai Bird Reserve in northern Spain, the monthly Ambassadors Osprey Club and our part on the Wildlife Trusts stand at the Rutland Water Bird Fair.

The children then enjoyed some osprey related games such as Musical Migrating Ospreys, Pass the Osprey, and Pin the Zygodactylic Toe on the Osprey.

No party would be complete without food, and Liz Elsden produced a specular spread with her signature chocolate osprey cake, osprey cupcakes, and a huge array of colourful fruits, sweets and jelly all with an animal theme!

The afternoon finished with a birdwatching session from the VTC gallery looking out over Rutland Water. The young Osprey Ambassadors now are all looking forward to next year when the ospreys return.

Words and photographs by Education Officer Pete Murray. 

Party introduction

Pass the osprey

Pin the toe on the osprey

Alex and Alex – winners of pin the toe

Party food, Liz Elsden

Osprey cupcakes


World Osprey Week 2018 – 12th   to 18th March

World Osprey Week or WOW celebrates the return of the Rutland Ospreys It is possible to teach your lessons using osprey based teaching resources. Schools can simply register and then use our FREE primary and secondary teaching resources including worksheets (with teacher’s notes), lesson plans, fun activities and project ideas that cover a wide range of national curriculum subjects.





Season’s end

It’s amazing how quickly the season goes, September always creeps up rather rapidly! All of the ospreys have now departed – there was a late-leaving juvenile who was hanging around Lagoon 4 for a while, but he has now left us too. The Lyndon Centre’s last day was Sunday 10th September, and that evening we celebrated with a thank you event to our osprey volunteers, with drinks, food and entertainment! Volunteers are vital to the success of the project, and we really can’t thank them enough. 

This season has been incredible – with eight breeding pairs we have had the best breeding success to date. 15 chicks successfully fledged this season, which makes our total number of fledged ospreys a whopping 132! Visitor numbers were high again this year, over 26,000 people came to see the ospreys at the Lyndon Reserve! We would like to thank everyone who visited us at Lyndon, followed us online and watched our webcam, your support is vital and we hope to see you again next year! The webcam is now offline, and will be reinstated next spring, when the Lyndon Centre opens again in March.

Here is a great video showing highlights of the 2017 season, created by our wonderful Information Officer Holly Hucknall. If you visited us at Birdfair or earlier this month, you may have already seen this, but if so it’s worth watching again!