Pupils at school in Berwick take part in Hidden Nature Challenge to mark launch of the National Education Nature Park
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This initiative gives children and young people the opportunity to connect to nature while investigating and recording what is living and growing on their learning sites.
Using prompts, the youngsters in Berwick have been discovering all sorts of hidden nature on their school site – from repeating patterns in nature to plants growing in unexpected places. They were particularly excited to find a beautiful shield bug and to discover a caterpillar hiding under a log.
They have been uploading their findings to an online map, where they can see the collective effort of other nurseries, schools and colleges discovering hidden nature on their sites on this day.
Berwick St Mary’s Church of England First School headteacher Gary Hilton said: “Our school values the holistic opportunities outdoor and nature-based learning gives our learners.
“This programme will help us to integrate nature-based learning into our teaching without burdening the teachers with extra work.”
The free initiative has been designed by a partnership led by the Natural History Museum with the Royal Horticultural Society and other partners, working alongside Esri UK.
Places of education taking part in the programme will become part of a vast network of spaces across England that form the National Education Nature Park.
The land from every nursery, school and college in England forms an area roughly more than twice the size of Birmingham, so represents huge potential to collectively contribute to nature recovery across the country.
Children and young people will have the opportunity to connect to nature while investigating and recording what is living and growing on their learning sites.
They will plan and take action to boost biodiversity through improvements such as building rain gardens, growing pollinator-friendly plants, installing bird boxes and more.
An accompanying Climate Action Awards, being developed by the Royal Society, will roll out in January 2024. They will recognise schools and colleges that have brought about change at an institutional level.
For more information and to join the National Education Nature Park, go to www.educationnaturepark.org.uk