original CD was compiled from a 'Nature
Quest' programme on offer to SCAN schools in South
Wales developed by Crickhowell High School and sponsored by the Nat West Bank. The programme starts with
creative dance in the classroom.
Excerpts from Charles Kingsley's 'The Water Babies', and Henry
Williamson's 'Tarka the Otter' and 'Salar the Salmon', are used as focal
points for group and individual work across the National Curriculum. Also, a special celebratory
performance to which the community is invited, provides a focus for pupils
to illustrate simple methods of environmental appraisal and databasing by
which everybody can participate in making, and managing, an all-community
biodiversity action plan.
For schools not taking up the 'Nature
Quest' programme, the CD could be used as a menu for projects in 'education for
Water Babies Interactive
Kingsley was a foremost environmentalist who campaigned and educated for a
cleaner world. His words are still fresh today, and an important
contribution to the debate about how our overcrowded world is going to
travel towards a sustainable, and fairer, economic future. 'The
Water-Babies', which has achieved the status of a children's classic,
presents environmentalism in its entirety. The narrative rests firmly on a
journey, which takes in Nature's many worlds, and presents their
respective scientific 'ologies' in an entertaining fashion.
over a century later, Henry Williamson produced two books of odysseys
through water which seized the imagination of children. In 'Salar the
Salmon' and 'Tarka the Otter', Tom's ecological wanderings are transposed
to the natural history of two of the actual creatures he encountered on
his journey to the sea. Williamson, a scrupulous and keen observer, was
concerned with presenting the uncertainties and distress of life in the
wild. Although a nasty death in the wild is certain, men, as fishers and
hunters, add unnecessary suffering. Set in the mountains of Wales, and the
river systems of Exmoor and Dartmoor, both of Williamson's unsentimental
books bring out the beauty and the harshness of these landscapes, and the
complexity of their ecosystems.
The setting of both books is a quest for sustainable
behaviour, and a future characterised by restraint on consumption,
kindness to others, and care for the ecosystems which support our global
economies. Mrs Do-As-You-Would-Be-Done-By is the magical figure who
delivers these messages, and today she could be described as the
good-fairy of sustainable behaviour towards the environment. Tom, the boy
chimney sweep carries his quest in episodes which can be interpreted at
many levels. The messages from the travels of Tarka and Salar are simply
that nature has an order, a pattern, that we humans are bound to
understand, and respect and preserve.
Water in Our Community
This is an extension of the aquatic themes of 'Water
Babies Interactive' giving ideas for projects about 'living by water'.
of neighbourhood biodiversity
How the keeping of nature diaries can be an important community
How year on year measurements of neighbourhood trees can throw light on
How garden plants are an important part of local biodiversity
Manager A simple relational database for
managing ecological projects- an educational version of the professional
Conservation Management System used by UK nature-site managers.
4 Making Footprints
The easiest way to make an environmental appraisal is
to draw a picture and attach a message about some feature of the local
environment you like or dislike. These can be used as local footprints for
others to follow for action.
5 Notions About Nature
Many of our valuations of local nature are notional
and can only be expressed as pictures or poems. In particular, there may
also be spiritual valuations of place because of what has happened there
or what has been lost.
6 Computer games
Computers are good at stimulating systems thinking
because they are able to take the operator through a sequence of 'what
happens if I do this? Questions. The commercial computer classic SimLife
is recommended as a classic game that involves the operator with
experimental studies of ecosystems and evolution.
7 Farming and wildlife
Most wildlife in the developed world is to be found
on farms. Increasingly an understanding of agricultural systems is
necessary to appreciate the value of biodiversity from which we obtain our
food as well as managing food production to preserve even the common
countryside plants and animals.
Self-indexing electronic texts are available for
research into the deeper aspects of biodiversity.
How to use the files
All, or any, of the files on this CD may be run from the CD or
copied to the hard disk. They consist of a mixture of html files which are
automatically opened into your browser window, or pdf Acrobat files. The
Acrobat files require an Acrobat reader to be
installed on your hard disk.
This on-line educational package has been
produced in collaboration with the Conservation Management System
Partnership, with the help of sponsorships from Texaco, Nat West Bank,
Marks & Spencer the Countryside Council for Wales and the EC LIFE