A SCHOOL well-known for getting its pupils involving in pigeon racing has helped more youngsters get the bug for the sport.

St Andrew's Primary School in Oswaldtwistle will begin racing pigeons after accepting an invitation to join the Oswaldtwistle Homing Society.

And pupils at St Andrews were given a talk and a demonstration by Jonathan Berry, the deputy headteacher of Longshaw Junior School, Blackburn, which has been racing pigeons for years.

Mr Berry advised the pupils at St Andrews on how to care for their pigeons, including wing stamping, ringing the birds, marking a race sheet and timing.

The pupils were also told how to train them and prepare them for racing.

The students will prepare the birds for racing by taking them for one mile, then two, before gradually increasing to 50 miles for the first race, and 220 miles after that.

Peter Hargreaves, of the society, said pigeon racing can help children with learning.

He said: "It's interesting because the pigeon racing has started to link with school subjects.

"In maths, they calculate the speed of the flight, and in geography, they learn about the different places the birds race from and travel to."

The society sent out leaflets to schools inviting them to join the pigeon racing club, and St Andrew's readily accepted.

Ten birds have arrived at the school, and are kept in a loft, where a daily feed will help them grow strong and ready for flight. A basket is used every day from which the birds enter the loft.

Each day the basket will be placed further until the birds fly into the shelter from 20 yards.

In 2019, schools including Longshaw Junior and St Andrews will compete in pigeon races.