Today’s post is by NAEE’s Chair, Bill Scott who asks a question that has puzzled him for some time. As ever with our blogs, what is written is not necessarily the view of the Association.

The Wildlife and Countryside Link website says that the Link is the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, bringing together 64 organisations to use their strong joint voice for the protection of nature. Its members campaign to conserve, enhance and access our landscapes, animals, plants, habitats, rivers and seas. Together they have the support of over eight million people in the UK and directly protect over 750,000 hectares of land and 800 miles of coastline. There’s more detail here.

Its list of members is almost a who’s who of UK environmental NGOs plus a number of organisations that promote activity in the countryside. Although there are no environmental education organisations as members, many of those supporting the link run their own prominent educational programmes that operate in and out of schools.

The Link says that it works on issues identified by members, where added value can be achieved by working in partnership. What is odd, therefore, is how little the Link seems to be interested in education or the work of schools, especially given how important this is according (even) to the DfE. The policy issues the Link says it focuses on are these:

These seem fair enough, given the Link’s prime focus, but the only mentions of education and schools seem to be incidental ones found in the blurbs presented by member organisations, and in blogs. There is no direct policy focus.

Given that in its recent draft strategy, the DfE plans to encourage schools to improve their grounds for biodiversity through a Nature Park scheme, might we not have expected a greater interest from the Link if only by way of encouragement? Odd.

Maybe NAEE should join.


Bill is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Bath and Chair of NAEE. He blogs at and can be contacted at:

1 Comment

  1. As Executive Director of NAEE I would like to support Bill’s latest observations. I am still a practising teacher, albeit now part-time, and run an educational farm. Giving my credentials and experience I was asked by LEAF Ed (Linking Environment & Farming Education) to participate in a Zoom to give opinions and help Defra civil servants on the proposed ELMs (Environmental Land Management Bill). My specific interest was, and still is, that this has no clear educational policy or links for schools or others. While the outline of the scheme has now been shared with farmers this is still the case although agriculture members of the Link coalition should have the expertise to provide this.

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