Clean up that beach 2015

The Marine Conservation Society is organising another beach clean up.  This year it takes place from 18 to 21 September, and a list of events is shown here. Last year, 273,747 items of litter were collected.  As this is 2.5 pieces every metre, it may seem a surprise that we win any good beach awards. The full results for 2014…

LOtC Resource Packs

LOtC Resource Packs are lesson plans for curriculum focused learning outside the classroom. Each pack contains 6 lesson plans, a case study of a project, and general tips and information on delivering learning outside the classroom,and all plans list the equipment needed, suitable venue, and ideas for differentiation, expansion and follow up in class. The packs…

Where are the bees?

It’s hard to know what to make of the bee survey results reported in the Guardian in August.  The headline, which seems misleading, was: Bee count finds school grounds abuzz as their favourite habitat The report began: “Schools and gardens have beaten farmland and the countryside in a survey to determine Britain’s most bee-friendly habitats.…

Monitoring air pollution by phone

On September 1st, the iSpex-EU project was launched.  This is setting out to recruit people from cities across Europe (see the map) to monitor air pollution.  The project aims to contribute to research by encouraging people to use their mobile phones to record levels of particles and droplets known as atmospheric aerosols. Toby Shannon, the UK co-ordinator of…

Earth Overshoot Day

August 13th was Earth Overshoot Day this year.  That’s the day when our annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide goes beyond what the Earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year. Overshoot means we are drawing down the planet’s principal rather than living off its annual interest and leads to a depletion…

Experience the world

Here’s a blog post from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust on the importance of learning outside. It begins: It’s a myth to think that learning outside the classroom is ‘just play’ – we’ve seen first-hand how play helps children develop their social, emotional and physical skills. Every young person should experience the…

The Worm – an underground adventure

Click here to see something of the Whirlybird Theatre Company’s underground eco-drama: Underneath your feet in the muddy brown soil squirms the world’s best kept secret – a wonderful, magical creature called the Worm.  Join Wilma and William, two nature lovers, on a journey underground as they discover a family  of friendly, musical worms and their colourful…

El Niño – or not?

Are you confused about what an El Niño is, and how it starts (or not)?  And are you, perhaps, not all that clear about the Walker circulation either – we certainly weren’t! Last week’s Economist looked in readable detail at the Pacific Ocean phenomena that so significantly influences our weather even though it’s half a world away.

An August Midnight

  We think of Thomas Hardy as a nature poet, although probably not to the extent that we know John Clare to be one. Hardy’s ‘An August Midnight‘, written in 1915, is not just about the natural world, but concerns our relationships in it. Here it is: A shaded lamp and a waving blind, And the beat…