1. NAEE will be represented at St George’s House, Windsor, this week, at a consultation with a focus on young people and the sustainable development goals. There will be a range of short presentations about what goal-related work is trying to achieve from across the UK with presentations from NGOs and schools about how they go about this important work. There will be reflections and lots of room for thought and discussion. In addition to all this, the 24 hour meeting is considering two propositions. These are that:
- Goal-related learning by students can help increase the likelihood that the goals will be valued, supported and hence realised
- A critical study of the goals can enhance the focus, and help raise the quality, of student learning
2. Circle of Life says that Outdoor Classroom Day [12th October] saw 19,800 UK schools getting involved and spending at least part of the day learning outside with their students. Across the World, about 2.3 million children in 105 countries took part. Circle of Life says that, in order to help inspire more outside activity it has collected ideas to use the natural resources around us for learning.
3. GA Study Tour to Uganda 28 July – 10 August (Provisional) The GA says “Come and explore the diverse cultural backdrop of Uganda, and gain first-hand knowledge of the various issues that Uganda is facing—from wildlife poaching and conservation efforts, to displaced people and rural education issues. Over the course of a two week itinerary we will visit the source of the Nile, spend time with rural communities and discuss the core issues facing Uganda in today’s globalised world.”
This trip offers a unique opportunity to visit communities and projects off the beaten track where no other tour companies go.” The cost is around £2300. For more information and a booking form please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. There’s a lot to read about in the latest Countryside Classroom newsletter. This includes:
- a new water trail at the Centre for Alternative Technology to discover the story of water
- Primary and secondary schools in Devon accessing the County’s latest Waste Education material
- Essex Wildlife Trust has six new venues offering outdoor education programmes, including Belfairs Woodland Centre
- High Crane Lodge in County Durham has won a prestigious Bayer/FACE Award, celebrating the very best in food and farming education
5. The latest Countryside Jobs Service newsletter has a section on Surveys and Fieldwork opportunities. CJS says: “Many conservation organisations appeal for volunteer surveyors to record and submit local sightings for a national wildlife survey. Taking part in any of these surveys will give you useful experience and also help to extend the scientific knowledge of a species, so vital for appropriate conservation management. Some include training in survey techniques and some may even pay expenses.” The opportunities include:
- GiGL Greenspace Information for Greater London Add your wildlife sightings for the Greater London area. It will help inform decisions affecting wildlife in London and ultimately the conservation of species and habitats in the capital.
- Highland Biological Recording Group promotes all biological recording in the Highland Council area. We attend BioBlitzes and organise our own fieldwork to cover under-recorded parts of our region. Records are welcome from anyone, whether a Highland resident or visitor. To find out more, have a look at our website.
- The Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly works to collate, manage, interpret and disseminate a wealth of local biological and geological information to help improve the understanding of our natural environment. Report and share what wildlife you see on the Online Recording Kernow and Scilly database here.
- Hampshire Pond Champion Surveys Survey and research the wildlife and history of local ponds to contribute to our celebration of Hampshire’s Ponds, and contribute to national monitoring schemes. Volunteer as little or as much time as you like, at a time and place to suit you. Contact 02380 402593 or by email
6. There’s a new Clean Air pack for schools from Friends of the Earth which says: Children are among those hardest hit by air pollution and its effects – which is why we’ve produced our air pollution education pack for KS2 pupils which contains
- 3 exciting lesson plans on air pollution, health impacts and campaigning.
- Colourful posters for your school walls showing plants that reduce air pollution – and stickers for the children.
- A fun and active school assembly on air pollution.
- 2 air monitoring tubes and get the opportunity to measure the quality of the school’s air.
7. Here’s a guide to vegetable growing for beginners that schools might find useful – whether those in change are beginners are not. It’s from the Gardening Journey blog. It’s an easy read and very informative. This is how it starts:
“With so much emphasis today on eating natural, organic foods – not to mention the rising costs associated with buying them, many people are considering growing their own vegetables in a home garden. It’s very easy to grow your own vegetables, and at harvest time, vegetable gardening is a very rewarding pastime. All your garden really needs is sunshine (6-8 hours of sun each day, in the summer), some soil, fertilizer, and a little attention to watering and weeding. As a gardening beginner, your first vegetable garden will require the largest amount of work, but don’t let that dissuade you – the work you put in up front won’t have to be repeated next year, and the rewards speak for themselves. …”
8. Learning for a Change has some new training courses for teachers in entrepreneurship and outdoor education.
- Green Entrepreneurship Training will explore participatory approaches for developing entrepreneurship programmes and activities in schools with the Green Economy as the context for learning. Dates: 8-14 March in Spain; 2-8 September in Bulgaria. For more details and to apply visit here.
- Outdoor Learning in Nature for Teachers will explore a range of outdoor learning approaches including Earth Education and field studies. There will be a range of practical activities as well as share good practice with other teachers. Dates: 25-31 March in Bulgaria; 8-14 October in Spain. For more details and to apply visit here.
9. The Earth Day Network says that although, since 2010, it (with our help) has planted over 15 million trees in 31 countries “we” have got to do much more. It points to a report published in the journal Science on September 28 which shows that deforestation and land degradation are increasing faster than reforestation. 68.9% of overall losses from the net release of carbon in our atmosphere comes from deforestation, and new forest growth has not kept up. Scientists tested this theory by taking a new approach. Previously, the carbon from tropical forests was measured by estimates from satellites that analyzed the change between two different time periods as well as the biomass density of forests. This time, scientists mapped out current aboveground carbon rates in order to estimate the data over a 12-year period. They found that on every continent, deforestation canceled out the effectiveness of the trees in tropical forests. It isn’t that reforestation is contributing to more carbon in the environment, but that the positive effects of reforestation are exceeded by the impacts of excessive logging and deforestation.
Earth Day Network wants us to help them reach its goal of planting 7.8 billion trees — one tree for every person on earth — in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. It asks us to support the Canopy Project.
10. NHBS has a new range of books for Winter. It says:
The NHBS Best of Winter Ornithology collection showcases some of our best-loved and bestselling bird related products and includes an exciting selection of books, wildlife equipment and gifts. Browse the full range at nhbs.com