FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

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Learning for Biodiversity

The Learning for Biodiversity Project funded by the City Bridge Trust will make an exciting step-change in the immediate and long-term capacity of Epping Forest Field Centre to deliver biodiversity education to Londoners. In turn, the learning for biodiversity - inspiration and increased knowledge, skill and understanding - will enable more Londoners to make a contribution to biodiversity in London.

Epping Forest Field Centre was founded in 1970 to commemorate the European Year of Conservation and officially opened in 1971. Since then, the Centre has progressed to connecting people from London and surrounding areas with the natural environment. Knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and the role that people play within it, is at the heart of the Centre's work.
Forty years later, and following the International Year of Biodiversity, we want to ensure that the Centre’s work remains relevant and valuable for the next forty years and beyond, by addressing the following issues of great importance:
• the significant drift in the provision of environmental education organisations away from promoting an understanding of taxonomy and its importance in relation to biodiversity.
• lack of public awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity and the nature of the underlying threats to biodiversity.
• the need to provide learning to support and encourage individuals and communities to take immediate steps to halt biodiversity loss / improve biodiversity at the local scale.

The Learning for Biodiversity project is an exciting new programme delivering learning for biodiversity (including education in the science of taxonomy) and will result in lasting impacts, including increased:
• capacity to deliver learning for biodiversity and taxonomy education.
• awareness of biodiversity, the issues surrounding it and the underlying threats to biodiversity
within London.
• commitment to action for biodiversity, sustainability and effective habitat management.
• access for London primary pupils to the local biodiversity learning sites.
• enhancement of London's environment through the development of biodiversity in school grounds, private gardens and public spaces.
• numbers of people engaged in delivering biodiversity education.

Initial work with six target schools in London has been very successful with children providing the following feedback:

"It was the best and amazing day of my life and it was the first time I have been to a forest and I completely loved it."

"It was fun because I learned new things about Biodiversity and I did things I never did before."

"This can be one of the best days of my life!"

Thursday, October 6, 2011