CBeebies goes green with ECOBABIES

A year-long green initiative called EcoBeebies will launch on the CBeebies channel on 13 June 2008. EcoBeebies will introduce 3-6 year olds and their families to a range of environmental, conservation and wildlife related issues, with contributions from familiar faces including Springwatch presenter and conservationist Bill Oddie.

The launch day will be marked with a one-off special show called Easy Peasy EcoBeebies, followed a week later by a weekly nature programme called The Green Balloon Club, which will be broadcast every Friday afternoon for a year. In addition, children can access EcoBeebies via an initiative called the Green Stars Club on the CBeebies website, enabling children to learn more about conservation and their environment with parents and carers online.

Michael Carrington, Controller, CBeebies said,

“We want to encourage children to explore, conserve and appreciate the outdoors and nature with their parents, teachers and grandparents. Given the success of our junior versions of shows like Springwatch, we hope that EcoBeebies will inspire young children to get outside, be active and engage with conservation.”

Easy Peasy EcoBeebies on June 13th follows the adventures of Jelly, the inquisitive three year old character from CBeebies Springwatch as she journeys to the Green Balloon Club. On her travels we see her meet a range of friends who all have a story to tell about the environment and conservation. These include CBeebies presenter Justin, the animated Mr Tumble and Basil Brush – who has been bungling his attempts at recycling with his sidekick Liam.

The Green Balloon Club begins on 20th June and will take children on a magical journey, exploring wildlife in the UK and visiting schools and children who are trying to improve the environment. The members of The Green Balloon Club are Lily-Rose (Isabella Blake-Thomas) who specialises in botany; Ant (Adam Wells) who looks at insects; Cat (Thai Murray-Edwards) who focuses on animals and Jay (Jake Pratt) who is interested in birds. They are accompanied on their adventures by a balloonist Skye (Debbie Korley) who watches over them and joins in their adventures.

Each week, the children meet at the foot of the Green Balloon in a virtual clubhouse, made from recycled bottles and boxes. The clubhouse is attached to the balloon in place of a basket and appears to transport the children around the country each week, linking to reports sent in by viewers and special reports from Jelly. They also showcase special films contributed by the BBC’s Natural History Unit presenter Chris Howard and Bill Oddie.

Children and carers can log onto bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/ecobeebies to learn about regeneration through the Green Stars Club, an online club where children will be encouraged to do their bit for the environment. Each week on the show, a password will be given which enables children to enter the Green Balloon Club website.

Children will be able to earn stars by completing tasks like growing their own food in a window box or garden, helping with recycling or spotting animals and birds. They can keep a record of their achievements in an online scrapbook which will update every time they visit the site. With each star earned, Skye the balloonist will suggest a way in which children can use what they’ve learned in the real world.

Children can also earn Green Stars by undertaking further simple tasks (i.e., turning off the lights when they leave a room) and they can print out a certificate from the site, draw a picture of what they’ve done and mark it with their hand print. This can then be posted in their windows at home and in addition, children will be able to trade their stars at their local libraries for special EcoBeebies bird feeders.

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