Online 'National Education Nature Park' launched

A new online ‘National Education Nature Park’ has been launched by the Department for Education to allow young people to learn from other schools and colleges who are taking steps to improve their biodiversity.

The initiative – being delivered in partnership with the Natural History Museum and Royal Horticultural Society – will allow pupils to document and upload the steps they have taken to improve the natural environment around their site – such a creating a pond or rewilding a piece of land. Collecting and sharing biodiversity data in this way will enhance their skills in mapping, numeracy and spatial awareness.

Schools, colleges, and nurseries can register their interest in the National Education Nature Park ahead of a full launch in autumn 2023.

Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the Department for Education and our partners to make the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Awards start to become a reality.

"In the face of the planetary emergency and Museum research showing that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, having our scientists sharing their world-leading biodiversity expertise with the scientists of tomorrow gives me so much hope, both for the future of biodiversity in this country and for the futures of the young people taking part.”

Clare Matterson CBE, Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: "From creating pollinator-friendly habitats, digging ponds, identifying wildlife or planning planting schemes, nurseries, schools and colleges will be able to play a driving role in mapping, monitoring and enhancing biodiversity on their doorstep.

"Children and young people will have a chance to create and grow a garden that works for wildlife, to learn new skills and understand impacts of climate change - all of which offers a gateway to a lifelong interest in nature, biodiversity and sustainability”.

As part of the programme, the Natural History Museum will create curriculum resources and lessons plans for each key stage to support education about climate change and biodiversity.

Schools, colleges and nurseries could also be recognised with a new Climate Action Award, designed to celebrate success in supporting children and young people to have a positive impact on their environment whilst developing new skills essential for a sustainable future in bioscience, data science, numeracy and horticulture.
Additional information

The National Education Nature Park is a partnership, led by Esri UK and the Natural History Museum, working with the Royal Horticultural Society, the Royal Society, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)), Learning through Landscapes, Manchester Metropolitan University and additional supporting partners, will work with the education sector to help them to map, manage and enhance all the land across the education estate, creating one, vast, virtual, nature park.

This could play an important part in increasing biodiversity across the education estate and have a real impact on halting the decline of nature in England.

Within the park’s online hub there will be a wealth of information and teaching resources to help education settings in delivering climate education, developing climate resilience, and driving decarbonisation.

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