We’re proud to have helped more than 5,000 schoolchildren connect with nature.
Our MammalWeb project has worked with the British Ecological Society (BES) on its Connecting Schools to Nature project.
The project has seen 72 schools across North East England – from North Yorkshire to the Scottish Borders - introduced to nature within their own school grounds.
Children have taken part in activities such as creating wildflower meadows and installing camera traps to discover the wildlife in their schools.
Over two years of work has also resulted in the creation of the new BES Encounters Platform, providing teachers with more than 130 different resources (lesson plans, worksheets and assemblies).
The platform offers a variety of activities for children so they can continue engaging with nature in a school.
Children in North East England have been shown to spend less quality time outdoors than children from other areas of the country.
At the same time, the area is also one of the least densely populated regions of England, leaving plenty of potential for nature regeneration and for becoming a biodiversity haven in the future.
As a result of taking part in the project, 100 per cent of teachers agreed that children’s connection to, and knowledge of, nature had improved.
In addition, 76 per cent of teachers agreed that children’s well-being had improved.
Durham University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen O’Brien, and Professor Phil Stephens, co-founder of MammalWeb, joined teachers, schoolchildren, volunteers and members of the project team in celebrating the success of Connecting Schools to Nature at an event at Newcastle’s Hancock Museum. They shared the impacts, and highlighted some of the inspiring stories, from the project.
With ongoing work to establish new collaborations and secure further funding, the BES is looking forward to helping more schools connect with nature in the future.
The British Ecological Society’s (BES) Connecting Schools to Nature project is a collaboration with Durham University’s citizen science project MammalWeb and engagement charity SMASH-UK.
MammalWeb collects camera trap images of UK mammals to build a picture of their habits and behaviours. It includes experts from our departments of Anthropology, Biosciences and Computer Science. See how you can get involved.
See how Durham University is enhancing biodiversity.
Connecting Schools to Nature is funded by a £248,700 grant provided by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.
Our MammalWeb project has worked with the British Ecological Society (BES) on its Connecting Schools to Nature project which has seen more than 5,000 schoolchildren at 72 schools across North East England introduced to nature within their own school grounds.
Children, who have created wildflower meadows and installed camera traps to discover wildlife, took part in a celebration event at Newcastle's Hancock Museum.
Durham's Dr Shaid Mahmood, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, (left), Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O'Brien (second left) and Professor Phil Stephens, co-founder of MammalWeb (right), joined members of the BES in the celebration event.