The Natural History Museum is leading a coalition of UK museums, alongside wildlife organisations in a UK-wide learning programme for young people, families and schools.
Part of the Natural History Museum’s Urban Nature Project, the programme, Explore: Urban Nature will be delivered in partnership with grant-making charity the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The programme’s aim is to provide school children aged 9-14 with opportunities to learn more about urban nature, what it does, how it’s changing, and what they can do to support it.
The organisations partnering with the Natural History Museum are the Great North Museum in Newcastle, Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales), Leeds Museums and Galleries, Wollaton Hall (part of Nottingham Natural History Museum), Peterborough Museum, National Museum Northern Ireland, Dorset Museum, and Stoke-on-Trent Museums. Also partnering is the Birmingham Museums Trust, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, in partnership with RSPB: Giving Nature a Home in Glasgow.
At launch of the programme this September is a competition between school classes to complete a health check of a local tree, guided by resources from the Natural History Museum, with the chance for the class to win a virtual Q&A session with a Natural History Museum scientist.
The programme will also include teacher training to help develop practical skills for outdoor STEM investigations into urban nature as well as outdoor museum workshops where students can investigate challenges facing nature in urban areas.
Director of the Natural History Museum, Doug Gurr says: “When people talk about nature, they often imagine remote wilderness or rolling countryside but there is a fantastic diversity of life in towns and cities.
The Natural History Museum is on a mission to create advocates for the planet, and we know that once young people are inspired to engage with the biodiversity around them, they are far more likely to want to want to protect and enhance it.”
The Urban Nature Project is being supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Evolution Education Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Cadogan Charity, the Wolfson Foundation, Charles Wilson and Rowena Olegario, Huo Family Foundation (UK), Johnson Matthey, commercial property management and building consultancy firm Workman and the Trustees and Executive Board of the museum.