SEEd’s Choice: Read, Do, See and Learn – April 2020

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

Things to Read

Analysis: UK’s CO2 emissions have fallen 29% over the past decade – In this article Carbon Brief sets out some useful statistics and interesting information on the UK’s emissions decline, despite the continued economic growth. Read More.

Climate Change: Warming Clips the Nightingales Wings – Matt McGrath investigates the change in wingspan of the Nightingale, the reasons why, and how this might affect the birds in the future. Read More.

‘It’s positively alpine!’: Disbelief in big cities as air pollution falls – A range of reporters from across the world report on an incredible unintended side-effect of the Coronavirus lockdown on our environment. With major cities across the world at a standstill, air pollution in many countries has swiftly fallen, revealing fresher and healthier air quality for inhabitants, and beautiful views. Read More.

Oceans can be successfully restored by 2050, say Scientists – Much research has been done on our oceans, and recently on the recovery rate of several ocean species such as the Humpback whale which has seen a remarkable population recovery since the ban on commercial whaling. Scientists say these stories show the resilience of our oceans, that we have evidence that we can restore marine life and that this can be achieved within the next three decades, but our efforts must be accelerated. They have identified nine key components to restoration, and a range of actions that should be implemented as soon as possible. Read More.

Wildlife destruction ‘not a slippery slope but a series of cliff edges’ – Scientists have warned that unless drastic measures are taken this decade to inhibit global warming crossing species temperature thresholds the world’s wildlife will suffer a series of short sharp collapses causing the destruction of whole ecosystems in a short amount of time. Read More.

UK Forests ‘could do more harm than good’ – Roger Harrabin explores the unintended effects of planting more trees in the wrong kinds of soil, responding the Natural Capital Committee’s report. Materials such as peat store a lot of carbon dioxide, trees planted into these materials would dry them out and could release more CO2 than they can absorb. Read More.

Scientists create mutant enzyme that recycles plastic bottles in hours – The enzyme was originally discovered in a compost heap of leaves, but scientists at Carbios have discovered that it can reduce plastic bottles to their original chemical building blocks in a matter of hours. These materials can then be used to make new bottles of the same quality standard, something recycled plastic has previously been unable to achieve. Read More.

Andover Trees: 50 UN Climate Justice Ambassadors trained in Plant-for-the-Planet academy – A United Nations Environment Program initiative with an ambitious goal – to fight the climate crisis by planting trees around the world – at Plant-for-the-Planet academies, children learn about the causes and consequences of the climate crisis, develop their own climate action plans, practice public speaking and plant their own trees. Read More.

The Secret Life of Plants: How they memorise, communicate, problem solve and socialise – Neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso studies the intelligence and behaviour of plants, including how they problem solve, communicate, retain memories, detect the resources available in their environment, and have self-awareness. ‘When corn is nibbled by caterpillars, for example, the plant emits a chemical distress signal that lures parasitic wasps to exterminate the caterpillars.’ His research calls into question our perceived superiority of humans, and our belief that we are among a select few species capable of conscious awareness of self.
Read the full Article.

Things to Do

Lockdown Wildtime – The Wild Network are asking you to let them know if you’re getting enough wildtime while still in lockdown, and if so, what activities you’re doing… let them know and share your ideas through their Facebook poll. Read More.

Ethical & Organic Food Shops that are Delivering – Pebble Magazine has put together a list of ethical and organic food shops that are delivering across the UK. Read More.

Adventurous Ink – The book club for outdoor folk; adventurous ink will send you a book a month, all great titles with outdoor themes by writers, photographers or illustrators, for you to enjoy. Plus you can join their online community to share your thoughts on your monthly read and find out what others are thinking. A variety of subscriptions available. Read More.

Southern Nature Art Exhibition: Young Artists Art Competition 2020 – This art competition asks young people to submit artwork based on the theme ‘British Wildlife’. There are three age categories: ‘Under 5’s’, ‘6 – 10’, and ’11 – 16’. Any mediums can be used, the closing date is the 1st of August 2020, and the winning and commended works for each category will be professionally framed and exhibited. Read More.

Nature and Place Poetry Competition 2020 – This poetry competition is open to writers OVER 18, and you are invited to deal with any aspect of nature or place, the judge will give a wide interpretation of these. There is a small entry fee per poem, and the closing date for this competition is the 1st of May 2020. Poems may not be longer than 40 lines. Read More.

And Lately, The Sun – And Lately, The Sun is an anthology of short stories investigating potential futures under our changing climate, they are open for submissions until the 30th of June 2020. Stories can be any genre and can explore any aspect of our changing climate and humanities response to it but must be between 2,000 and 8,000 words. Read More.

Rewilding Britain: Public consultation on UK Government’s Environmental Land Management scheme – The UK Government’s Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM) will be the cornerstone of a new agricultural policy for England and could potentially influence the approach taken in the rest of the UK. Rewilding Britain believe it’s one of the most important environmental reforms in decades. It could restore nature, and ensure continued healthy ecosystems, but now is the chance for the public to have their say and make sure that it does what is needed in public view. The government closed this consultation early on 8th April due to the impacts of Covid-19. It will reopen it at a later date, check the website to read DEFRA’s announcement, and don’t forget to check back so you can have your say when it reopens. Read More.

Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution 2020 – This year’s Fashion Revolution week will take the form of a weeklong online conference, and everyone is invited. The week will include a host of activities you can get involved in including interviews, panel sessions, and workshops. 20th – 26th of April 2020. Read More.

The Wild Network – Check out The Wild Network’s activities page for loads of ideas for things you can do with the kids to inspire more nature themed fun and interest, many of which are easily transferable into lockdown friendly versions. The Wild Network are also releasing some activities specially tailored to lockdown conditions.
Browse the Activities.

Things to See

Project Wild Thing – The Wild Network are exploring ways we can continue to fill our days with wildtime activities throughout lockdown. To start this off they’ve made their Project Wild Thing video free to watch. The film follows David Bond’s journey to rebrand nature after becoming concerned about his daughters growing reliance on screen time.
Watch the Film Here.

War on Plastic with Hugh & Anita – In this three-part series, Hugh and Anita explore where our huge plastic problem is coming from, and how we can solve it. They challenge big businesses to do more to reduce the plastic in their products and question the government about what they’re doing to address recycling and plastic production. They also challenge an entire street in Bristol to try and significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their homes in four months to discover how easy or difficult it is to make such changes.
Watch it on iPlayer.

Me Vs Climate Change – In this BBC series Swarzy Macaly explores climate change and how it affects everyday life, and explores things everyone can do to live a little more sustainably day to day.
Watch it on iPlayer.

Things to Learn

12th Global RCE Conference – The theme for this year’s Global Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Conference will be ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: action through learning in a time of global crises’. This event will provide an opportunity for participants to collectively share, explore and build on the knowledge, skills and values within the network to build the capacities and actions needed to achieve the SDGs. 21st – 23rd November 2020, Edinburgh. Read More.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust: University Summer Placement Scheme – This two-week placement scheme running during August 2020 gives university students and graduates the opportunity to experience working within a conservation setting. Gain experience in: working on a peatland restoration project, surveying, conservation grazing, habitat monitoring, wildlife law and legislation, communications and marketing, data mapping, campaigning, and identification skills. Closes 31st May 2020. Read More.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust: Level 3 Forest School Leader Course – This course consists of eight days of hands on training across dates in August and September 2020 covering programme delivery, learning and development, planning and preparation, woodland environment, and practical skills. Designed to develop leadership, facilitation and practical teaching skills to enable you to plan and deliver Forest School Programmes along the Forest School Ethos. Starts 17th August 2020. Option to pay in instalments and help with costs available. Read more.

Learning Through Landscapes – LtL have recently made the decision to move everything they do online, and to make everything they offer free. Through their two new Facebook groups, and their webpage, where they will offer, lesson plans, ideas, resources, training, and 1:1 support. You can find out more about this in their most recent newsletter or keep checking their website. Signing up to their newsletter is free and can be done through the newsletter link below.
Read LtL’s recent Newsletter.
Visit LtL’s Website.  

International Events that Influenced the Development of Environmental Education – This timeline explores the events from 1946 onwards that have helped make environmental education what it is today.
‘Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.’
Read the full Article.