Dingwall Wildlife Explorers received funding from the National Lottery Awards for All scheme

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Thursday, 14 December 2006

Tawny Owl

Part of the Walk in the Woods video

Walk in the Woods

This was shot on a walk through the woods next to the school - our local patch, owl and raven and sheep etc

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Dwex Red Kite

Red Kite near primary School in Dingwall...YouTube and Google



Monday, 4 December 2006

Dwex News

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Due to the forthcoming Christmas parties today’s meeting will be the last one till January 17th. The planned meeting with Juliet Wilson (Squirrels) on the 20th December will now take place at a later date.

In the New Year we will be having some outdoor trips on a Saturday or possibly Sundays, as well as some talks from the RSPB.

We now have a bird table in the middle of the school in what will hopefully become the wildlife garden; we hope to start feeding the birds very soon.

So we hope you have a good Christmas and look forward to the coming year. It is worth noting that tomorrow (7th Dec) Lidl are selling Bresser 10x50 binoculars for £9.99, these are good binoculars that normally retail at £79.99. Also on offer are telescopes for £99.99, whilst expensive, these normally retail at £299.99 and this is a serious investment for anyone with a keen interest in wildlife (as well as astronomy). I am hoping to get a few for the group but expect these may go quickly.

Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year

David Lynch, Group Leader

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Welcome to DWex

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

The aim of this group is to allow children an additional opportunity to experience wildlife in our local area and to take an interest in their world.

Our area includes moorland, broad leaved woodland, pine forest, salt marsh, coastal estuary and farmland all within a few miles. The school premises where we currently meet is in the midst of private and local authority housing, the latter being subject to a recent dispersal order, the first in Scotland. This group sprang from a desire to see a long term sustainable activity for young people, initially 7-11 yr old.

There are no other groups of this kind within the local area, and as not all children have access to transport it is planned to make this a group that concentrates on its own local area. Our short term goal is to see a wildlife garden created in the school, this is being pursued through different areas of funding like the BBC ‘Breathing Spaces’ scheme. Long term we desire to see the placement of a wildlife watching hide in the area of the estuary, providing safe and protected for all the community, but this is long term.

Our immediate goal is to introduce children to the wildlife within their own locality. Due to high numbers (70 children currently on the register) we want to keep this close to the school to enable all children to attend, and hope that this group will encourage other community activities in the area. We also aim to allow the children the opportunity to bring forth ideas on sustainability and eco friendly practices, at home and at school.

There is no charge for the group and we intend to retain this feature for the duration of the group. Part of our aim is to introduce the children to wildlife that they would not normally notice, part of this requires observation equipment, and due to the nature of the land, the use of telescopes and binoculars would make this task possible.

We are also looking for the children to take wildlife pictures using a digital still and video cameras. Whilst some parents have access to photographic equipment, it would be sensible for us as a group to retain control over the images being produced. We will encourage image capturing of wildlife or general scenes of interest, including things like trees, fields, mountains and seashore etc, anything that has a feel for nature. We can then compile these images onto a single disk for further viewing, hence the need for laptop and projection equipment, enabling the children to explore their creative and artistic gifts.

Enclosed is our document pack, these policies enable us to function within a solid structure, with the children’s safety and enjoyment paramount to all we do. We currently meet on the premises of Dingwall Primary School and have been made most welcome by them, yet we are not a school group and we are open to all children within the area. Whilst we are not an affiliated RSPB group, we have sought and taken advice so far and have their full backing in our current format.

David J Lynch

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Group Leader

15 Chestnut Road

Dingwall

IV15 9UQ

email: micah78@micah78.plus.com

http://dwex.blogspot.com/

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DWex Constitution

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Constitution

  1. The Group will be called Dingwall Wildlife Explorers
  2. The aim of the group will be: 'To explore the flora, fauna and wildlife habitats of Dingwall and surrounding areas, raising awareness amongst the members of conservation and ecological issues.
  3. Membership of the Group will be open to anyone aged 7-11.
  4. The Group will hold regular, publicised open meetings, which any member will be entitled to attend.
  5. Such officers will be appointed as are required to administer the running of the Group including a chairperson, a treasurer and a secretary. Simple consensus at ordinary meetings can elect officers.
  6. Accounts will be kept by the treasurer, submitted to, and approved by an Annual General Meeting.
  7. The Group will set up a suitable banking account and will elect authorised signatories.
  8. The Group will work closely with Dingwall Primary School and the RSPB.
  9. This constitution may be altered by simple consensus amongst office bearers, leaders and helpers.
  10. All leaders and helpers in childcare positions will be required to apply for a basic disclosure. Childcare interpretation is per the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 (OPSI/HMSO) - Schedule 2 – the definition of child care positions.
  11. The group has taken and will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that its meetings, events and socials are accessible to all, irrespective of any disability.
  12. The group has ensured and will continue to ensure that it complies with any relevant data protection legislation.
  13. The group believes that discrimination or harassment, direct or indirect, based on a person's gender, age, race, skin colour, nationality, religious belief, socio-economic background, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, family situation, domestic responsibilities or any other irrelevant distinction, is detrimental to the ethos of the group and wider society, and will not be tolerated.

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DWex Child Protection Policy

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Child Protection Policy Statement.

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.

Volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers will:

  • ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral obligations to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;

  • develop best practice in relation to the recruitment of all workers;

  • ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards and procedures detailed in the organisation’s Code of Conduct, Code of Good Practice and the Child Protection Procedures;

  • ensure that all workers understand their obligations to report care or protection concerns about a child/young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person, to the organisation’s designated person for child protection;

  • ensure that all procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;

  • ensure that the designated person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Social Work);

  • provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the care and protection of children and young people;

  • ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the organisation’s Complaints Procedure;

  • ensure that parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and, when requested, have access to all guidelines and procedures;

  • endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the care and protection of children and young people.

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DWex Rehab of Offenders

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Recruitment of Ex Offender Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistent and fair practices are implemented for the recruitment of staff or volunteers who have a criminal record to paid/unpaid child care and Adults at Risk positions within Dingwall Wildlife Explorers.

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers undertakes to treat all applicants for positions within the organisation fairly and not to discriminate unfairly against the subject of a disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily de-bar an individual from working/volunteering in child care/adults at risk positions within this organisation. Only convictions or conviction information that is deemed relevant to the position applied for will result in an applicant not being granted the position.

This organisation implements a fair recruitment policy that ensures individuals have the opportunity to disclose any convictions or conviction information in a way that allows for a clear risk assessment to be carried out that will determine whether or not the conviction or conviction information is relevant to the position applied for.

To ensure the correct applicant is appointed and to enable [name of your organisation] to determine the relevance of any convictions or conviction information to positions applied for Dingwall Wildlife Explorers will use the following recruitment tools:

Application Form

Self-Declaration Form

References

Interviews

Disclosure Certificate

As part of Dingwall Wildlife Explorers recruitment policy we request the appropriate level of Disclosure certificate at the final part of the recruitment stage, when a position has been offered.

Enhanced Disclosure certificates will only be sought for positions that are deemed to be exempted posts. An exempted post is one, which is detailed in the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Order 2003

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, ex-offenders have the right not to reveal spent convictions. However, additional legislation (the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Act 2003) allows for employers to ask for an applicant to detail their full criminal record history.

One of the positions listed in the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Order 2003 is a child care position. The definition of a child care position is defined in Schedule 2 of the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 (PoCSA).

Applications for Child Care and Adults at Risk Positions

Where a position requires an Enhanced disclosure we make this clear on the application form, job advert, self-declaration form and any other information provided about the post.

All applicants are required to complete an application form, self-declaration form, interview and give details of 2 referees.

Self-Declaration Forms:

Self-Declaration Forms will be viewed by the Lead Signatory before interview to determine the relevance of any disclosed information to the position applied for.

When assessing the relevance of any convictions or conviction information the Lead Signatory will look at the following information:

Whether the conviction is relevant to the position being offered

The seriousness of the offence revealed.

The length of time since the offence took place

Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour

Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since offending took place

How the individual completed their sentence to move forward and stop the offending behaviour

Should the Lead Signatory decide that the information is relevant to the post the applicant will be deemed to have been unsuccessful and this information will be fed back to the applicant by letter.

For applicants who have disclosed convictions or conviction information that is not deemed to be relevant to the post an interview will take place.

At interview we will ensure that open, measured and relevant discussions can take place on the subject of any disclosed offences.

Failure to reveal information on the Self-Declaration Form or at interview that is directly relevant to the position sought will lead to the withdrawal of the offer of paid/unpaid work.

The appropriate level of Disclosure certificate will be accessed once the applicant has successfully completed the interview and the paid/unpaid position has been offered.

Should the returned Disclosure certificate disclose more offences, more serious offences or relevant non-conviction information than previously disclosed by the applicant this could lead to the withdrawal of offer of employment/volunteer post. This will be a decision for the Lead Signatory to make.

However should the Disclosure certificate for a Child Care position reveal that the applicant is Fully Listed on the Disqualified from Working with Children’s List under no circumstances will the applicant be offered or entitled to work/volunteer in a child care position for [name of your organisation]

All Disclosure Certificates accessed for successful applicants will be stored for a maximum of 6 months by the Lead Signatory as per our Dingwall Wildlife Explorers policy on storage, handling and retention policy.

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