The Wildlife Trusts have serious concerns about the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, and have identified some key principles which, when adopted, will ensure wildlife recovery and easy access to nature for people are at the heart of reforms. They say “Help us put nature back into planning and back our principles by taking our campaign action:

The Trusts have gathered a panel of experts to discuss the Government’s proposed planning reforms in this week’s livestreamed Wild LIVE event. Wildlife is declining, and we know the current planning system isn’t working, but the Trusts believe the proposed reforms will make a bad situation much worse. One of the panellists is Emma Greenwood, a 16-year-old member of Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Youth Panel, Youth MP for Bury, and climate justice activist. Emma works to try and make sure young peoples’ voices are included in decision making processes that affect them, and that there is intergenerational work to try to achieve climate justice.  Click here to sign up for the event.


Teach the Future has a new Adult Advisory Board; you can see who’s a member here. And Andrew Nind has contribute to the Teach the Future blog, writing about working towards net-zero carbon. It’s here. §§§§


Every year on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF launches an annual campaign with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, UNICEF says that under the theme, My voice, our equal future, “let’s seize the opportunity to reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.” As adolescent girls worldwide assert their power as change-makers, International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus on their demands to:

  – Live free from gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV and AIDS  

– Learn new skills towards the futures they choose  

– Lead as a generation of activists accelerating social change

Surely this is one of the most important sustainable development goals. §§§§


ESD in remote and digital settings: Lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second online workshop: Education for Sustainable Development in remote and digital settings takes place on Wednesday 14 October 2020, 10:00. UNESCO says that “hundreds around the world joined UNESCO for the kick-off of the Online Workshop Series on the ‘Transformative power of ESD for the world beyond Covid-19’ on 9 September. You can read a summary of the first online workshop and watch here on YouTube. The workshop series will be covering an array of topics in the leadup to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development next May. So, tune in on 14 October for ‘ESD in remote and digital settings: Lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic’. You can register here. §§§§


KS1, 2, 3 or 4 Bright New Futures assemblies aim to provide an inspiring vision of the future and green economy career opportunities and help address the mental health and emotional wellbeing of pupils around the future. They comprise short visual introductions to exciting career opportunities which will be available to children and young people because of sustainability innovations in the economy.  KS3 and 4 assembly could include National Careers Week 2020 film HOPE.  To book a date or learn more, please contact or call 07768 212833. §§§


Do you know what percentage of land in England is currently used for [i] agriculture, [ii] residential gardens, and [iii] houses? Is it:

– agriculture 50% 60% 70% ? – residential gardens 1% 5% 10% ? – houses 1% 3% 6% ?

Government-sourced answers are at the bottom of the page. §§§§


The Ernest Cook Trust (in partnership with the #iwill Fund) has a new funding programme, the Green Influencers Scheme, designed to engage young people (target age 10-14 years old) across England with environmental social action projects to tackle the climate crisis and connect to their local communities. The scheme will fund 35 Host Organisations across England to employ Green Mentors to recruit local young people through schools and youth groups and to work with them to identify the needs of their local communities in order to design and deliver environmental action projects. From local litter picks to international climate conferences and everything in between, the projects will be led by the young people themselves and their passions and skills. The Green Mentor will facilitate these groups as well as capturing the successes of the projects to communicate back to The Ernest Cook Trust and our funding partners.

The scheme can provide £15,000 per year towards to cover a Green Mentor salary and £3,000 towards the organisations administration costs. Additional funds of £360 are then available for individual Green Influencers groups to kickstart their projects and a larger grant of up to£5,000 is available for those projects that can prove initial success and have scope for growth. The deadline for applications is 23rd October at 5pm. Details from:


October sees the launch of CISL’s The Future we Want Discussion Series. Each week, it will be bringing together leading thinkers from business, finance, government and academia to unpack the critical questions that will move us towards a sustainable future. The discussions are free to attend, and registrations are open for all five events in the series. §§§§


Mya-Rose Craig has a couple of 15 minute programmes on Radio 4: Diversity Outdoors. In the first she talks with Rhine Fatinikun who founded Black Girls Hike, and in the second she talks with Zakiya Mckenzie, writer in residence with the Forestry Commission in 2019 and Ambassador for Black and Green, a Bristol-based community group. Some think that the BBC will choose May-Rose to succeed Sir David Attenborough in its broadcasting lead on climate and conservation. §§§§


David Attenborough has set out his vision for the future of our planet in a new book: A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future; (written with Jonnie Hughes). Ebury Press £20 pp272. We shall be reviewing this soon. §§§§


The BTO has a panel of young volunteers who help steer it to better serve its younger supporters. These ten young people are developing an inclusive and extensive Youth Engagement Strategy, helping BTO inspire the next generation of birdwatchers. The vision the panel has for BTO’s engagement with young people is: “A diverse, vibrant community of young birders supported by the BTO, with accessible, youth-led opportunities inspiring young people to engage with nature and science.” You can see details of the panel members here. §§§§


BES has announced a Festival of Ecology – five days of live and on demand content, with plenary lectures, thematic sessions, workshops & networking opportunities. You can present your research to the global community and submit an abstract today. §§§§


In its latest Newsletter, Plantlife says watch out for waxcaps (and other exotic-looking fungi), and asks for our help. Between late summer and early winter one of nature’s most colourful displays is waiting to be discovered. The colourful, gem-like fruiting bodies of grassland fungi can be found peeping through the turf across our countryside, cities and even some of our gardens. Sadly, these sites are often overlooked and in many cases are in danger of being lost. But by taking part in our short survey you can help us discover where they are and better understand the kinds of places these colourful fungi like to appear. The survey is simple, and anyone can take part. §§§§


The Wildlife Trusts are launching a new national campaign – the #BigWildWalk, taking place from 26 October to 1 November. The Trusts want more people to get outdoors and walk in nature, to experience first-hand the stunning transitions at this time of the year. More details next week.


Usage stats on land in England (there are some 32 million acres of it):

[i] agriculture 63%

[ii] residential gardens 5%

[iii] houses 1%

Forest, open land and water make up 21%. §§§§

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