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July 2015 – Pupils tell us their favourite wildflowers

Back in May, Plantlife launched a nationwide survey to find out which was the most popular wildflower in the UK. Thousands of people voted and in the end Bluebell was nominated as England's most favourite wildflower whilst in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it was the Primrose. Thank you to everyone who took part and voted. Pupils at Plantlings School in Devon (ages 6-16)  also took part in the survey and carried out research to find out more about each of the 25 shortlisted species. A shortlist was then created for the rest of the school to vote from. Here are four of the most favourite choices:
  • Cornflower
"I like the cornflower because I like it's colour and it's big".
  • Cow Parsley
"I've chosen this because I think it's beautiful it grows in good places you can go and see and comes in good time for everyone to see".
  • Thrift
"I chose the thrift because it is a coastal flower it reminds us that we are a island. it is also a very pretty flower".
  • Fritillary
"I think that Fritillary should be Britain's favourite flower, here is why! First of all, we must have a pretty flower, and the flower has purple chequered petals. it is so beautiful how it bows its head. it is also very unique. England is a wet country, so surely we must want a flower that likes being wet? this flower loves  being in wet, soggy meadows! it also can be found all over Britain. It is not too rare and not too common, so we would have an interesting favourite flower".    

New Volunteering Opportunities in Merseyside – April 2015

‘We’re in the Wild’- Volunteering Programme 2015: Discovery/ Taster sessions Focussed toward 11-19 year olds the volunteering programme is designed to empower young people to learn new skills in practical conservation, leadership, community liaison and risk management. The programme has been created for young people to take part on discovery/taster sessions and events in local parks. Travel to sites will be reimbursed upon production of a receipt and lunch will be provided for full day activities. If you would like to attend any of the sessions below please contact anne.faulkner@plantlife.org.uk

Roll up for resources! – January 2015

We're looking forward to celebrating meadows this year. 

Don't forget, If you would like a class pack of free meadow resources sent to you, please register  online whilst they are still available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FTJLXSP

The Wild About Plants team  want to support you and your pupils get out and about this year. We have lots of resources that help pupils work scientifically, observe seasonal change and focus on common plants as well as investigate habitats and plant adaptations. We hope that the range of resources and workshops available will provide opportunities to discover the nature on your doorstep whatever the weather and the season. Calendar of resources for investigating outside throughout the year
How have snowdrops adapted for their environment?

Working scientifically, adaptations, plant and animal relationships

February
How do light levels affect plants on the woodland floor?

Working scientifically, photosynthesis, seasonal change

March, April
How do leaves change as they get older?

Working scientifically, seasonal change

March, April, May
Bee Scene

Working scientifically, pollination, common plants, plant and animal relationships

May, June, July
Bee Scene at the Beach Plant adaptations, habitats, working scientifically and conducting experiments May, June, July, September

 FREE RESOURCES

Meadow resources

This resource provides a perfect introduction to the meadow habitat allowing pupils to explore their local meadow and consider the different clues that tell them how healthy that meadow is. Follow on activities such as designing flower keys, exploring meadow food chains, listening to the sounds of meadows and bug hunts will be online from spring 2015. If you would like a class pack of free meadow resources sent to you please register NOW online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FTJLXSP Resources are limited and will be distributed on a first come first served basis. Resources will be posted during February / March 2015. These resources are available as part of the SOMM (Save Our Magnificent Meadows) project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Woodland resources 

Many of the woodlands of Devon and Somerset are internationally important because of the lower plants (lichens and mosses) that live there. As part of the Make the Small Things Count project which is funded by the  Heritage Lottery Fund free class packs of resources are available to schools in the areas around Exmoor, Dartmoor, the Quantocks and North Devon Coast. The resource ‘Lower Plants Challenge’ allows pupils to work scientifically to explore the woodlands and identify key features of the woodlands that allow lower plant to thrive. Pupils will learn about microhabitats and be able to make predictions.

To receive your free pack please register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MTSTCSchoolBotAdv

You can find out more about the project here. You may be interested in our photo competition which has an age category specifically for younger audiences.

http://www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/england/projects/make-the-small-things-count/

FREE WORKSHOPS

Meadow workshops

Next summer term we will be running free workshops for schools in their local meadow. Workshops will be available in south Somerset, Bristol and Merseyside. If you are interested in finding out more please let us know by emailing Katie.cameron@plantlife.org.uk and stating the geographical area in which your school is.

Schools in Thetford

Plantlife will be running a number of workshops at Barnham Cross Common. Workshops will allow pupils to compare two different habitats on the common and gain an understanding of the process of succession. Pupils will have an opportunity to discover the common plants on the common and explore how management of the common is helping these plants to thrive. If you are interested in receiving more information please contact Felicity Harris – felicity.harris@plantlife.org.uk. These workshops are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a much larger project Breaking New Ground which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council and the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Board.

Workshops in woodlands

If you are a school in or near the Quantock Hills (including Bridgwater and Taunton) with access to a local woodland (we can help you with this) we may be able to offer you some free learning workshops for children in 2015.  To find out more and register your interest contact Rachel Jones Rachel.jones@plantlife.org.uk

TEACHER TRAINING – Primary School teachers

Learning in urban green space

Free INSETS and twilight sessions available for primary schools in Sefton, St Helens, Liverpool, Knowsley and West Lancashire.  Workshops focus on using your local green space to deliver maths, English and Science. Training can be delivered in schools for a minimum of five teachers. For more information contact Anne Faulkner – anne.faulkner@plantlife.org.uk.

Making the most of Meadows

Teacher training workshops available in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. A one day workshop that provides opportunities to explore how meadows or grasslands can be used to deliver a number of aspects of the curriculum. To register your interest please email Felicity Harris – felicity.harris@plantlife.org.uk.

Wonders of Woodlands

Schools local to the Quantock and Mendip Hills including Bridgwater and Taunton can request a free INSET or twilight session that will support teachers and support staff to deliver learning activities around woodlands and their lower plants using the new ‘Lower Plants Challenge’ resource. Contact Rachel Jones to find out more Rachel.jones@plantlife.org.uk. We will be delivering workshops for teachers in the North Somerset, Somerset and Devon areas on using woodlands to encourage children to work scientifically.  Using the ‘Lower Plants Challenge’ as a starting point teachers will discover the potential for scientific learning and discovery within the woodland environment.  To register your interest for one of these workshops contact Rachel at Rachel.jones@plantlife.org.uk  

Photo competition deadline looms! – December 2014

A reminder, as we quickly approach the festive season, to get out and about and get snapping. If you are visiting the wonderful woodlands of the south west this Christmas then we encourage you to focus on the small things - the lichens and mosses that grow in this wonderful habitat...   The woodlands of the south west of England are very special places for wildlife. Close to the Atlantic ocean, they provide conditions for plant life that are not found in most of the rest of the UK. We are celebrating, through the Make the Small Things Count project, the woodland wildlife that can easily go unnoticed and invite you to take a moment to have a really close look at this special habitat.   Winter is a fantastic time to see lichens as they reveal themselves against bare branches and bark of trees with little coverage of foliage.   Through your images we want other people to see woodlands and the lower plants they support in a new light and be inspired to visit one.  
  • Categories:
  • Hidden gem – this could be a close up of a lichen, fern or moss capturing its beauty, form, patterns, colours and delicate nature.
  • Within woodlands – lichens, ferns and mosses can grow in the most interesting places; rocks, branches and trunks and sometimes tucked away in secret spots. We want you to photograph these plants in the places that they grow and touch on their relationships with other plants and animals of the woodlands.
  • Wider landscapes – the moist conditions of the Atlantic woodlands provide the habitats for lichens, mosses and ferns. Rushing water, mists, and the changing colours of the woodland canopy create a unique atmosphere. Capture these plants as one part of a wider scene.
  • You can also enter photographs of original art work inspired by woodlands that fit into these categories.
  For each of the above categories there will be a first, second and third prize winner in each of the following age groups: Under 11, 11-17,  18+   First, second and third place winners from each photograph category and age group will receive a canvas print of their image following the completion of a tour of an exhibition of their work: April 2015 – Lynmouth Pavilion, Exmoor National Park May 2015 – Braunton Countryside Centre, North Devon June 2015 - Fyne Court, The Quantock Hills, Somerset September 2015 - February 2016 - National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown, Dartmoor National Park Winners and their guests will be invited to a reception at Lynmouth Pavilion in April 2015 where the winning images will be shown to the public for the first time. There will be additional prizes for first second and third prize winners in all categories. Judges will be individuals who know the woodlands of the south west the best and will include National Park and AONB staff as well as volunteers and members of the community from the project areas. Competition guidance
  1. You can enter up to 3 digital photographs in total
  2. Photographs must be your own work and not have previously been for sale
  3. Photographs must have been taken within the south west’s coastal woodlands (e.g. Dartmoor, Exmoor, the Quantock Hills, North Devon coast)
  4. Entry is strictly by email only. Postal entries will not be judged or returned to the sender
  5. Photographs must be entered as JPEG images with a file size of no more than 5mb. Low resolution images will be judged but higher resolution images must be available for printing
  6. Prizes will be received following completion of all exhibitions
  7. Plantlife reserves the right to share digital images with project partners for use in an online gallery and for other purposes including publicity and press releases
  8. Entries must be emailed to wildaboutplants@plantlife.org.uk by Friday 30th January 2015
  9. Entries must be sent with the following information: Name, place photograph was taken, title of photograph, date taken, category entered, age category, contact email address, postal address and phone number. Without all of these details your photographs will not be entered into the competition
  10. If entrants are aged under 18 parent/carer contact details must also be sent with the entry
  11. By sending your entry via email you are agreeing to these terms of entry
  12. This competition is not open to employees of Plantlife
  13. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
GOOD LUCK!!

Liking lichens in Wiltshire this winter – October 2014

Posters for Wiltshire events Jan 2014 1 websiteJoin us in Wiltshire this winter for a series of workshops and walks in the Savernake Forest, to explore the wonderful lichens growing there.

Workshops:

Winter woodland walk: For more information, please visit the events pages on this website: http://www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/events/

Get Wild About Plants in 2015 wherever you teach

The Wild About Plants team have been busy and we want to support you and your pupils get out and about next year. We have lots of resources that help pupils work scientifically, observe seasonal change and focus on common plants as well as investigate habitats and plant adaptations. The Wild About Plants team hope that the range of resources and workshops available will provide opportunities to discover the nature on your doorstep whatever the weather and the season. Calendar of resources for investigating outside throughout the year
How have snowdrops adapted for their environment?

Working scientifically, adaptations, plant and animal relationships

February
How do light levels affect plants on the woodland floor?

Working scientifically, photosynthesis, seasonal change

March, April
How do leaves change as they get older?

Working scientifically, seasonal change

March, April, May
Bee Scene

Working scientifically, pollination, common plants, plant and animal relationships

May, June, July
Bee Scene at the Beach Plant adaptations, habitats, working scientifically and conducting experiments May, June, July, September

 FREE RESOURCES

Meadow resources

This resource provides a perfect introduction to the meadow habitat allowing pupils to explore their local meadow and consider the different clues that tell them how healthy that meadow is. Follow on activities such as designing flower keys, exploring meadow food chains, listening to the sounds of meadows and bug hunts will be online from spring 2015. If you would like a class pack of free meadow resources sent to you please register NOW online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FTJLXSP Resources are limited and will be distributed on a first come first served basis. Resources will be posted during February / March 2015. These resources are available as part of the SOMM (Save Our Magnificent Meadows) project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Woodland resources 

Many of the woodlands of Devon and Somerset are internationally important because of the lower plants (lichens and mosses) that live there. As part of the Make the Small Things Count project which is funded by the  Heritage Lottery Fund free class packs of resources are available to schools in the areas around Exmoor, Dartmoor, the Quantocks and North Devon Coast. The resource ‘Lower Plants Challenge’ allows pupils to work scientifically to explore the woodlands and identify key features of the woodlands that allow lower plant to thrive. Pupils will learn about microhabitats and be able to make predictions.

To receive your free pack please register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MTSTCSchoolBotAdv

You can find out more about the project here. You may be interested in our photo competition which has an age category specifically for younger audiences.

http://www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/england/projects/make-the-small-things-count/

FREE WORKSHOPS

Meadow workshops

Next summer term we will be running free workshops for schools in their local meadow. Workshops will be available in south Somerset, Bristol and Merseyside. If you are interested in finding out more please let us know by emailing Katie.cameron@plantlife.org.uk and stating the geographical area in which your school is.

Schools in Thetford

Plantlife will be running a number of workshops at Barnham Cross Common. Workshops will allow pupils to compare two different habitats on the common and gain an understanding of the process of succession. Pupils will have an opportunity to discover the common plants on the common and explore how management of the common is helping these plants to thrive. If you are interested in receiving more information please contact Felicity Harris – felicity.harris@plantlife.org.uk. These workshops are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a much larger project Breaking New Ground which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council and the Breaking New Ground Landscape Partnership Board.

Workshops in woodlands

If you are a school in or near the Quantock Hills (including Bridgwater and Taunton) with access to a local woodland (we can help you with this) we may be able to offer you some free learning workshops for children in 2015.  To find out more and register your interest contact Rachel Jones Rachel.jones@plantlife.org.uk

TEACHER TRAINING – Primary School teachers

Learning in urban green space

Free INSETS and twilight sessions available for primary schools in Sefton, St Helens, Liverpool, Knowsley and West Lancashire.  Workshops focus on using your local green space to deliver maths, English and Science. Training can be delivered in schools for a minimum of five teachers. For more information contact Anne Faulkner – anne.faulkner@plantlife.org.uk.

Making the most of Meadows

Teacher training workshops available in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. A one day workshop that provides opportunities to explore how meadows or grasslands can be used to deliver a number of aspects of the curriculum. To register your interest please email Felicity Harris – felicity.harris@plantlife.org.uk.

Wonders of Woodlands

Schools local to the Quantock and Mendip Hills including Bridgwater and Taunton can request a free INSET or twilight session that will support teachers and support staff to deliver learning activities around woodlands and their lower plants using the new ‘Lower Plants Challenge’ resource. Contact Rachel Jones to find out more Rachel.jones@plantlife.org.uk. We will be delivering workshops for teachers in the North Somerset, Somerset and Devon areas on using woodlands to encourage children to work scientifically.  Using the ‘Lower Plants Challenge’ as a starting point teachers will discover the potential for scientific learning and discovery within the woodland environment.  To register your interest for one of these workshops contact Rachel at Rachel.jones@plantlife.org.uk    

Pioneer is out! Exploring the urban envionment – August 2014

We hope you like August's Pioneer. We've been discovering some of the gems that grow in our urban habitats. Ever wondered what that small plant is that's growing on your steps? Or taken the time to wander through a graveyard - one of our most precious haven's for wild plants and wildlife? Then get stuck into this edition and if you haven't already subscribed to receive the newsletter for free then you can do so here. As always we would love to hear your comments! For this special urban edition we asked the Hammond family  to take our flower keys out to their local urban park to see how they got on. They had much fun telling the time with a dandelion clock, looking at self heal in detail and getting to grips with some bark rubbing - indeed there was loads to do on a sunny afternoon outside! Thank you very much for your fantastic images! (c) SpireWeather Photography. Don't forget to send in and share your own photos. You can see more of these over the next few weeks on Twitter. Why not follow us? @wildaboutplantsjulie-and-barnaby2  

Getting messy in woodlands – August 2014

reflecting-on-plants-(2)stencilling-banners-(11)cutting-and-laying-out-templates-(2) We went on an inspirational and creative walk in the woodlands of East Dartmoor, Devon, to gather materials from the ground and lots of ideas in order to create these magical printed collages of magical mosses, fabulous ferns and lovely lichens. We got very messy getting up close and personal with the woodland’s hidden gems!

Schools are a-buzz this Summer! – July 2014

Schools up and down Britain have been taking part in this year's Bee Scene Survey. To date over 500 children have taken part this summer and been recording their findings on our webpage. To see how our green spaces are looking for bees visit: http://www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/beescene/  One colleague wrote to tell us " The pupils really enjoyed the survey and the importance of bees has certainly been highlighted within our lessons. We look forward to continuing with the survey next year". Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far and shared their experiences with us.

We’re in the Wild: The Journey so far – June 2014

Slide1The We're in the Wild project has been running for one year now and has worked with 1618 people including 759 children on 39 school workshops in 7 schools!  For a summarised review of how we've done, please visit the project webpage. You can also see what we're up to this Summer including information on the John Muir Award we're running with St.Vincents School for the Visually Impaired. One of the posters designed by Grange Primary School pupils in to sell bird boxes to their inhabitants
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