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The Education in England (the history of our schools) website contains HMI publications including the (1979) second edition of its Curriculum 11-16 Working Papers which deals with environmental education.  This was a time when HMI took it seriously, unlike Ofsted today.  But then, HMI thought seriously about curriculum, as did a lot of other groups – unlike today it seems.  Significantly, perhaps, the young people co-ordinating the school strikes are calling for an independent curriculum review.

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Alex Christian has a petition on change.org asking DEFRA to save UK bees and butterflies by protecting wildflower meadows.  Alex says: “A staggering 97% of British wildflower meadows have been eradicated since the Second World War.  This devastation of meadows is driving disastrous declines in our bee and butterfly populations. That’s why I’m calling on the government to urgently protect the remaining meadows before it’s too late.  Our entire ecosystem and food supply chain are heavily dependent on pollinators including bees and butterflies. We must protect what remains of our wildflower meadows because nearly 1,400 species of insects rely on meadow plants for their survival.  …  You can stay up to date on the campaign to save our magnificent but vanishing meadows at Plantlife via the website, Twitter or Facebook

You can see (and support) her petition here.  Over 430,000 people have done so already.

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The UN says that World Environment Day [June 5th] is to be the day the world took action to #BeatAirPollution.  What are you doing?

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In 2015, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) launched the first national monitoring programme to help save water voles which are the UK’s fastest declining mammal.   PTES is now calling for volunteers to take part in its annual survey of these riverside residents, in order to find out where water voles are living and where they are most in need of conservation action.  Volunteers are asked to survey one of PTES’ 850 pre-selected sites across England, Wales and Scotland between the 15th April – 15th June.  New sites can also be registered if there isn’t a pre-selected site nearby.  There are more details here.

To take part click here.

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The Environmental News Network says that children might be their parents’ best climate-change teachers, but the study it cites does not refer to any of the existing environmental education research literature which shows that the conditions for this to happen are exacting.  See what you think.

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Last month saw the 50th birthday of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Butterfly Conservation says that Eric Carle’s story has introduced millions of children to the life cycle of a butterfly.  However, in this, the larva hatches on a Sunday and spends Monday to Friday eating fruit, and on Saturday the caterpillar’s it gorges on cakes, cheese and salami.  Butterfly Conservation says that this is not quite as it is in the real world of caterpillars although feeding habits are quite wide-ranging.   You can discover more here.

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Rewilding Britain is a new report that says that systematic re-wilding of the land is key to meeting carbon targets.  This is how it begins:

“We are at a crossroads. The breakdown of our climate is no longer a fringe concern, but is increasingly recognised by the public as an urgent existential threat to both nature and human society. The gap between our awareness of that threat and the inadequacy of our current response has become clear.  This report is a contribution to bridging that gap. New thinking and practical action is urgently needed if the UK Government is to meet its legally-binding commitments to combat the catastrophic effects of climate change.”

Details here.

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The Environment Agency has worked with Lancaster University on research into the social effects of flooding, including information about how to undertake, analyse and use social research in flood policy and practice.  Details here.

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Extreme global impacts is a GA collection of 12 KS 3 lessons and resources linked to the global impacts of people.  It features topics such as the impact of people on cities, tourism and on the global commons.  Extreme global impacts includes teaching notes, student activity sheets and PowerPoint presentations for each lesson.  It’s available (but only to subscribers) here.

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A new report from the Woodland Trust and Oxford University reveals that ash dieback is expected to cost the economy £15bn as it wipes out 95% of the UK’s 126 million ash trees in British woods.   Almost half of this (£7 billion) will be over the next 10 years.  There’s more detail here.   The Trust also has details of additional tree diseases; while this makes for gloomy reading it also reminds us of the dynamic nature of ecological systems where the status quo is never an option.