Pack your conscience and head for the sun

One of my little cherubs asked me recently why human beings don't migrate for the winter, and I didn't know the answer. Surely heading to some sun-kissed isle is a very sensible idea – at least until the clocks go forward again.

Even a week or two somewhere glorious would do. And what better way to give the family a blast of sun than by getting them busy doing something useful at the same time? After all, that really would be making a change.

So I'm delighted to announce that Earthwatch, the environmental charity (01865 318831;, is now offering a family holiday in the Bahamas. You and your brood can join a team of environmental scientists for some hands-on experience, tagging fish and taking water quality samples, working in a lab and lots more. Get stuck in as much as you want – and you can spend the rest of your time on the beach, snorkelling or sailing to your heart's content.

There's a lot to be learnt, too, at Dominica's Three River Lodge (001 767 446 1886; 3rivers This retreat runs entirely on renewable energy, and when you and your mini eco-warriors aren't too busy whale-watching, diving or mucking in with the locals, you can take part in the retreat's fantastic educational workshops on energy conservation.

But if you fancy being truly pampered while your kids learn about important things, check out the Four Seasons Resort in Nevis (01244 202000; seasonsinstyle. com) which has a Kids For All Seasons programme, created by the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. It'll go down a treat: activities include monitoring the island's endangered turtles and even swimming with them.

I can't think of a better way to spend the British winter.