Nature and Biodiversity Learning Resources

We’ve collated this large list of resources from a variety of places to help you, your friends, family, and children, learn more about, grow closer to, and reconnect with nature. Nature and biodiversity are the backbone of life on earth, and there’s loads of ways you can learn. This list includes: online interactive websites, video courses, podcasts, adult learning resources, resources for each key stage, resources for teachers on teaching about nature and biodiversity, resources for parents to support their children’s learning, and books for adults, parents, and children.

The majority of these resources are free to access, use, and download. Any resources that require payment have been marked as such.


General Knowledge Websites

The National Biodiversity Network is the UK’s largest partnership for nature, with over 200 members and more than 235 million wildlife records available through the NBN Atlas. The Network has been championing the sharing of biological data since 2000, and it’s vision is that openly shared biological data can be central to the UK’s understanding of biodiversity and subsequent decision making.

What is Biodiversity? – In this article Sophie Pierce from Oxford University outlines what biodiversity is, how it affects us, and what the threats to it are.


Resources for Mixed Ages

Audible – during school closures Audible have made their services free for children and young people to download and listen to a vast range of books, get started and search for nature titles.

Earth School – TEDEd’s Earth School is 30 days of nature-focused content and environmental adventures for learners of all ages. Each Quest includes a discovery video and quiz, combined with a series of engaging learning resources; all curated by environmental experts.

30 Days Wild – runs every June, and is an opportunity to do something wild every day throughout June, hosted by The Wildlife Trusts, sign up and download their resource pack.

#NatureforAll – IUCN’s Discovery Zone has a host of online and virtual learning resources to help people connect with and learn about nature.

Learn to Love Nature – WWF have released a series of resources for children and young people to learn about nature, biodiversity, and our planet from home.

Biodiversity Activities Pack – Countryside Classroom is offering an activity pack of resources teachers can use to stimulate biodiversity learning with their students, resources available for a range of ages.

Nature Activities – A range of printable nature worksheets for mixed ages.

ClickView – are currently offering their range of educational videos and resources free to those in the UK during Covid-19. Resources cover a wide range of curriculum topics, search for nature, climate, and sustainability themes to find resources for all Key Stages.

RSPB – has a range of Nature activities and resources available to download for mixed ages, plus more resources available through TES.

GrowEatGift – Emily’s post links 30 activities to do with children that link art and nature in creative and stimulating ways for 30 days of wild time.

Primary Sciences – these Google Drive folders are openly accessibly and contain science and nature question sheets and resources for all key stages.

Coursera – is an American MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) platform, with hundreds of online courses available to sign up to for free, search nature, or nature and biodiversity, for nature and sustainability themed courses.

The Economist – are offering a variety of free learning resources for children and young people either learning alone, with siblings, or with family. Resources are separated into mini courses and aligned with the sustainable development goals and news literacy skills, covering a range of topics some of which are nature and sustainability based.

Natural History Museum – has a range of activities, resources, and lesson plans for learning about nature, natural history, and urban nature.

Century – are offering a free subscription pack to access their learning courses for mixed ages, many science based courses to explore.

Kent Children’s University – has a section on Nature and the Natural World containing resources for mixed age groups.

Practical Action – Have a range of home or at school STEM learning activities which are designed to engage primary and secondary students in real word sustainability issues.

CREST Awards – have a range of free STEM home-learning projects you can choose from, different projects for different ages, from primary through to A-Level.


KS1

Twinkl – Nature learning resources for children, exploring nature, scavengar hunt, minibeast hunt, nature walk, nature and art, and more resources and worksheets free to download.

Exploring Nature with iNaturalist – This resource uses the app iNaturalist alongside a day of physical wildlife exploration to help children identify and record the wildlife they find.

6 Outdoor Learning Activities – The Stable Company has put together a list of 6 simple but effective activities you can do with KS1 age children to get them out and engaging with the natural world.


KS1 & KS2

Wild Days – are releasing structured activities and videos daily to help primary age children get learning about nature during the pandemic, sign up for free and enjoy the resources prepared by Earthwatch Europe Scientists.

Access to Nature Education Pack – This pack contains information about the importance of outdoor and nature learning, how to get started, activity ideas, a calendar of nature events, and curriculum links for KS1 & KS2.

NASA Climate Kids – has a plants and animals section that combines learning about nature with learning about climate change.

Woodland Trust – Has a range of activities and resources available on nature and trees to engage young people in outdoor learning.

Learning Resources – are offering some free to download resources for KS1 & KS2, among curriculum-based resources are nature, wildlife, and outdoor learning resources.

Primary Resources – has some resources available on life processes and living things in their science section.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History – has resources for Primary children to learn about animals, rocks, fossils, minerals, and insects.

Teacher’s Pet – has a nature and biodiversity resources for KS1 & KS2 under their science heading for each Key Stage.

TTS – has put together some free activity books available to download, their Spring into Spring books are suitable for early years and primary school ages and are full of nature learning. Other resources are available to buy.


KS3

Urban Nature Challenge – STEM Learning has put together a series of 6 free curriculum linked KS3 sessions designed to get young people outside and connected to their local environments.

Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group – nature resources and activities for KS3, available to access for free, also resources for KS1 & 2.

STEM Learning – Biodiversity and extinction pages offer a host of resources aimed at KS3 students.


KS4

Teachit Geography – environment, atmosphere, and climate resources for KS4 students.


KS3 & KS4

STEM Learning – has science resources for KS3, 4, and A-Level students: biology, plant life, and earth and environment topics are all covered in their science topics.

NASA, Climate Change: How do we Know? – this site has got lots of information for older students around climate change and associated natural consequences.

Ormiston Meridian Academy – is a science learning online support resource for older learners, they are more focused on curriculum science (chemistry, physics, and biology) but their biology sections for all learner ages are helpful for learning about the natural world.

Stairway – offers free online learning for older learners in biology, also maths and physics.

TES – has a range of nature learning resources for secondary students, just search for nature, or nature and biodiversity.


For Schools

Top Tips for Schools to Engage with Biodiversity – RSPB have put together seven top tips to help schools incorporate biodiversity into their systems.

Biodiversity in Schools – exists in Ireland to teach young people across Ireland about nature and biodiversity and encourage them to be actively involved in nature conservation.

Eco-Schools Pathways – include biodiversity among ten main topics, and offer a structured way to implement change in school.

Educational Resources – WWF’s educational resources for teachers include Wild School, weekly activity plans, and toolkits to get kids learning about nature.


For Families

Nature Clubs for Families – Children & Nature Network have put together this guide on setting up nature clubs for families to help children connect with nature.

City Nature Challenge – The 2020 challenge has already completed for 2020 but this challenge runs every year and there’s opportunities to take part in upcoming years, the idea is a competition to spot the most nature in cities across the world. You can still check out the website to see what amazing nature people spotted in their cities this year.


For Adults

Reconnecting with Nature for Sustainability – This article explores what reconnecting with nature means, how these connections occur, and how they can function as a treatment for the global environmental crisis.

Reconnecting with Nature key for the health of People and Planet – University of Plymouth has published research in it’s Journal of Environmental Psychology indicating that reconnecting with nature is key to improving human and planetary health.

A New Reconnection Agenda for People and Nature – This article discusses disconnection, and how cities could be a key place for reconnection with nature.

Exploring the Nature Pyramid – On why exposure to nature is one of the key foundations to a meaningful life, and the nature pyramid.

The Nature Education Knowledge Project Library – has a range of informative referenced articles on ecology and environmental topics available to read online to aid learning for young adults and adults.


Listening for Adults

Planet Pod – A not-for-profit podcast that talks to people from all walks of life about wildlife, climate and sustainability, with the aim of helping everyone become better guardians of the planet.

For the Wild – Is an environmental podcast seeking to produce an anthology of the Anthropocene through discussing the protection of wild spaces, the promotion of ecological renewal, and the disconnection of consumer culture.

The Economics of Biodiversity – Minouche Shafik and Professor Dasgupta discuss the sustainability of humanity’s engagement with nature. Podcast and video of this live event are available for download on the London School of Economics website.


Books for Kids (Not Free)

Brilliant Brainz – is a monthly magazine for kids that’s full of learning, each magazine has a nature and environment section among other science, art, and tech subjects.

National Trust: 2020 Nature Month-By-Month: A Children’s Almanac – Anna Wilson has put together this Almanac with spotter guides for nature for each month of the year, also includes guides for things to make and do.

The RSPB Children’s Guide to Nature Watching – Mark Boyd’s guide helps children get closer to nature through tips on attracting wildlife to your garden, how to use equipment to nature watch, where to go to find nature, and how to take field notes.

Rebecca and the Strangest Garden on Earth – Imogen Daly mixes fantasy, fun, and adventure with valuable lessons about the importance of protecting the environment and looking after the planet.

Earth Remembers When – Dawn Wynne’s book illustrates human’s effect of nature and offers children ways to make a positive impact on the environment.

Well Earth Well Me! – Kenda Swartz Pepper’s book reinforces the link between humans and nature through rhymes and images, supporting care for the earth, self, and others, also includes 15 practical tips for kids to try, suitable for ages 4 – 8.

Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature’s Mysteries from Perilous Places – Donna M. Jackson reveals the work and lives of the extreme scientists studying nature by getting as close to it as possible.


Books for Parents (Not Free)

Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life – Richard Louv has put together a comprehensive guide for connecting with the natural world, including over 500 activities for children and adults, thought-provoking essays, and a range of further reading and websites to visit.

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature – Scott D. Sampson’s guide on how to help children build a lasting and comprehensive relationship with nature.

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature – Jennifer Ward presents 52 activities parents can use to help their children experience, connect to, and fall in love with nature.

Nature Play at Home: Creating Outdoor Spaces that Connect Children with the Natural World – Nancy Stiniste helps parents transform their back gardens into amazing natural playgrounds that stimulate children’s creativity, learning, and connection to nature.

The Truth About Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths about the Great Outdoors – Stacey Tornio debunks a host of modern nature myths, helping families become more reconnected with the natural world.


Books for Adults (Not Free)

Losing Eden: Why our Minds need the Wild – Lucy Jones explores new research on how and why connecting with the natural world can so drastically affect our health, and what happens as we migrate further from it.

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative – Florence Williams explores nature’s positive effects on the human brain.

The Biophilia Effect: The Healing Bond Between Humans and Nature – Clemens G.Arvay looks at the science behind understanding the biological effects being in nature has on the human body.

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari helps us understand human’s place in the natural world through our evolution as a species.

The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World – Andrea Wulf explores Humboldt’s life, his explorations and investigations into the natural world and his ideas and predictions about human induced climate change.

The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife – Nancy Lawson explores how important it is to welcome wildlife into our back gardens, and how all of us can do it.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate-Discoveries from a Secret World (The Mysteries of Nature) – Peter Wollehben explores how trees live, grow, and communicate, and how a happy, healthy planet effects the mental and physical health of all who live on our planet.

Triumph of Seeds – Thor Hansom explores the natural and human history of seeds and how important they are in many aspects of our day to day lives.

How to Read Nature: Awaken Your Senses to the Outdoors You’ve Never Noticed – Tristan Gooley shares new ways to experience nature through exercises that help utilise and sharpen your senses.

Does it Matter? – Alan W. Watt explores man’s increasing reliance on material things and distance from the natural world, and how it is we’ve come to see nature as something we come into rather than something we came out of.

The Living Forest: An Eye-Opening Journey from the Canopy to the Woodland Floor – Robert Lewellyn explores every aspect of the complex ecosystems in magnificent forests.


If you have a suggestion for resources to add to this list please email admin@se-ed.org.uk.