The Natural History Museum, London is leading a partnership to establish a new National Education Nature Park and climate action awards scheme.
Working with the Department for Education, the project aims to make sure every young person in England has opportunities to develop a meaningful connection to nature, understand the concepts of climate change and biodiversity loss and feels able to do something about it.
Together with the Museum’s partners, the Royal Horticultural Society and the Royal Society, the project will give students the opportunity to transform the green space at their place of education into their own Nature Park.
From creating pollinator-friendly habitats where biodiversity can thrive, to digging ponds, or creating planting schemes that support climate resilience, students will play leadership roles in studying, managing and enhancing biodiversity and climate resilience in their Nature Park and local community.
With England’s primary and secondary schools covering an area roughly twice the size of Birmingham, this is an opportunity to empower young people to make a real difference by creating environments across the country where biodiversity thrives.
The partnership will be working with Esri UK to provide free geospatial mapping tools so children and young people can track biodiversity gains in their area.
An accompanying awards scheme will recognise the efforts of young people taking environmental action, equipping them with skills and knowledge about biodiversity and sustainability and providing them with a sense of advocacy and an achievement recognised by universities and employers.
The partnership will deliver a comprehensive programme of support and resources for teachers in early years foundation stage, primary and secondary schools. The project partners aims to work with the Department for Education (DfE) to provide grants to ensure that all schools can participate.
Responding to the urgency of the planetary emergency and the DfE’s Sustainability Strategy, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way we teach climate education and support young people to act and increase biodiversity across England.
What will the National Education Nature Park involve?
- Supporting students to lead and manage their own Nature Park, modelling the staff of a National Park or nature reserve as managers, ecologists, communicators, fundraisers, grounds people and data analysts.
- Students will choose, plan, and implement a range of site improvements and habitat enhancements based on the latest scientific evidence, and monitor biodiversity gains.
- The partnership will deliver a comprehensive, curriculum-based set of free climate education resources, lesson plans, and schemes of work from Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stages 1-4.
What are the climate action awards?
- An accompanying awards scheme will help children and young people develop skills and knowledge in biodiversity and sustainability, and celebrate their climate action efforts.
Partners for nature
This partnership is led by the Natural History Museum with the Royal Horticultural Society, supported by the Royal Society, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Manchester Metropolitan University, Learning Through Landscapes, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the National Biodiversity Network Trust.
The project leads will also be looking to work in partnership with the environment and education sector, universities, and scientists to pool expertise and resources to provide the support that educators and students want.
You can find out more and sign up for project updates on the Natural History Museum’s website.
NBN Trust’s role
The NBN Trust is thrilled to be part of this exciting project and we are currently working with the Natural History Museum and EsriUK to determine how we can best support biodiversity data capture and data flow.