Biodiversity Action in Schools Project

Jayden Findern

The Biodiversity Action in School Project provides a framework, resources, ideas and tools to allow teachers and group leaders to engage young people in learning about and taking positive action for biodiversity in their local area.


This project, and the activities and resources that go with it, were developed by us on behalf of the Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Partnership and trialled with eight schools across Derbyshire in 2012. These schools ranged from nursery to secondary and activities were adapted accordingly, they all came together to share and present their very positive work.

It encourages young people to learn about biodiversity and why it is important, find out what is in wild space local to them (perhaps their school grounds, local park or countryside site), take some action to encourage biodiversity and share their learning with others.

Although designed for use in the lowland Derbyshire area the resources could be adapted to suit any part of the country and their associated biodiversity action plan.

What the Biodiversity Action in Schools Project includes

The resources and activities are suitable for all age ranges and can be adapted to suit various needs, abilities and requirements.

The Biodiversity Action in Schools Project teachers' guide in the related documents section below provides guidelines, lessons plans and activities to tackle eight key areas. Each of these areas is supported by resources, images, presentations, activity sheets and other suggestions which are available on an accompanying CD of resources.

The project enables your group to tackle together the eight key areas below:

  1. What is biodiversity?
  2. Why is biodiversity important?
  3. What is a BAP? (Biodiversity Action Plan)
  4. What is special about my BAP area?
  5. Monitoring, surveying and mapping
  6. How can I write a BAP?
  7. What actions could we take for biodiversity?
  8. Preparing to present.

The activities and resources aim to draw together the wealth of resources and support that is available to groups across the county and beyond that have already been developed by biodiversity and conservation organisations and puts these into an easy to follow framework with some Derbyshire specific resources. The teachers pack signposts you to other organisations you can work with, useful websites and activities so you can select what is appropriate for your group.

BASP supporting resources, free loan box and workshops

If you work at a Derbyshire school and would like a copy of the supporting resources that go with the teachers', pack these can be provided on CD. The CD includes presentations, worksheets, fact sheets, how to guides and images. To request your copy please contact us, email: environmentalstudies@derbyshire.gov.uk or tel: 01629 533439 requesting the "BASP CD of resources" and giving your name, school or group name and full address.

For Derbyshire schools we have also developed a free-to-loan resource box with the hard copy resources and activities already prepared ready to use. To borrow these resources for free please contact us, tel: 01629 533439 or email: environmentalstudies@derbyshire.gov.uk requesting the "BASP resource loan box" leaving your name, school or group name, full address and when you would like the resources for.

We also offer workshops and courses in how to use these resources or can come into your school or group and train your staff or deliver activities for you.

Linking Biodiversity Action in Schools to the John Muir Award

The framework and format of the Biodiversity Action in Schools Project fits perfectly with the requirements for the John Muir Award so if your group is working through these activities why not help them achieve a national award too?

The John Muir award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It helps people connect with nature and enjoy and care for wild places. It's for people of all backgrounds − groups, families and individuals and is non-competitive, inclusive and accessible. The John Muir Award invite you to:

  • discover a wild place
  • explore it
  • do something to conserve it
  • share your experiences.

This fits brilliantly with the Biodiversity Action for Schools Project.

Engaging people in biodiversity

If you work for an organisation, group or school and are trying to engage others in biodiversity issues you might also like to look at Engaging People in Biodiversity Issues.

Engaging People in Biodiversity Issues draws on original audience research and provides a starting point and set of principles that you can use to help engage others. It is not a guide as to how we might better explain biodiversity, or shout louder to ensure our messages are heard. It is a set of principles for re-framing this difficult concept so that it resonates with people, and makes sense on their terms.

The research identifies four big stories that people already tell about nature - nature finds a way, nature can't keep up, humanity finds a way and humanity can't keep up, and develops five key principles for re-framing biodiversity that seek to work with these stories.

Related documents

The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

Also on our website

Information on other websites