Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Have you tried: Wildlife mapping?

Written by Fiona

May 19 2016

In my Sunday Mail outdoors column of May 8, I wrote about the new OS wildlife map competition for primary schools. You can see the full pdf or read the article below.


Wildlife mapping competiton for kids

What is it?: A #wildlifemap competition for primary schools to win a visit from outdoors TV presenter Steve Backshall.

Tell me more: Backshall – best known for the BBC’s Deadly 60 show – has teamed up with mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS).

The third partner in the contest is EDINA, an on-line education and information service based at the University of Edinburgh.

The #wildlifemap competition is open to any school in Britain with primary-aged children.

To enter, schools need to use Digimap for Schools to create a map annotated with photos of wildlife around their school.

Pupils can take photos of any wildlife in their local area and describe what they saw in text format.

They should also say what they would like to ask Steve about the wildlife.

The three best images and questions will be selected to represent each school.

Elaine Owen, OS Schools Sector Manager, believes Digimap for Schools is a great way for children to quickly and easily record their findings.

She said: “We are looking forward to seeing some amazing wildlife maps.”

Peter Burnhill is director of EDINA at the University of Edinburgh. He said: “Wildlife is all about us, in cities, towns and the countryside.

“This competition is a great opportunity to put your school on an Ordnance Survey map in the way you would wish it to be seen.”

To enter, schools can register at the Digimap for Schools Wildlife Competition website.

Maps must be submitted to Ordnance Survey by June 10, 2016.

Anything else to know?: The wildlife maps will be judged by an expert panel with the lucky winning school bagging a visit from Backshall.

If your school isn’t a subscriber to Digimap for Schools, you can register for 30 days of free access to the service.

Digimap for Schools allows full access to OS mapping of all scales, including detailed large-scale maps, as well as historical maps from 1890s and 1950s.

A spokesperson said: “During the free trial, schools can make as many maps as they like.

“It’s a great way to learn about map skills, explore old maps of the school area and plot wildlife on a map.”

What can we win?: The grand prize is Backshall visiting the winning school to speak at assembly and taking the winning class on a wildlife walk.

There are other prizes up for grabs, too. For each week of the competition, two schools that have tweeted the most interesting individual photo with the hashtag #wildlifemap will be sent a bonus prize of a book signed by Backshall.

Contact: See



More Like This


Review: Salewa Ortles Light Mid PowerTex (PTX) boots


Historical landmarks of the Golden Triangle – A journey through time, taste and tranquillity


Six new sports you might like to try


Cycling on the Black Isle


Cycle Aviemore to Inverness


Pawel Cymbalista sets Rob Roy Way FKT