A borrowed quotation “… to bring a new curiosity and awareness of nature to the next generation”

Almost all people enjoy the nature around them but don’t always know what they are looking at. As the 1000 Species Project has been demonstrating although this is suburbia (albeit unusually open and leafy suburbia) there is a remarkable biodiversity in our streets, parks and gardens.

We are beginning a programme which offers moderately challenging projects focussed on the birds, mammals, plants and insects in town. They will appeal to children and to new naturalists of all ages. They can be enjoyed by individuals or by families helping each other.

A little over 60 years ago I clearly recall watching with intense fascination a small bird doing something in a fast-running river that my young brain told me was impossible – it was a Dipper and it was walking along the bottom of the river, underwater, picking food from between the stones and gravel. I was hooked for life … for me it eventually led to by my becoming a biologist – now, some decades later, I would love to help light the same spark in today’s young minds. I’m not a professional teacher, these are small steps, but I think I understand what is fascinating to the enquiring mind.

And so … each month or six weeks there will be just a few illustrated pages that you can download. They will suggest a project, a challenge, call it what you will. There will be some basic introductory information about some aspect of the wildlife and plants in our neighbourhood and a suggestion or two about related activities you can enjoy doing and how to go about them. The themes will vary depending on the season – birds, flowers, butterflies, trees, spiders and so on.

You can download the documents from the links below. Each project is in two parts, a brief explanation of the challenge plus a slightly longer illustrated selection of helpful background information and ideas to help you. Nothing complex and no exams at the end. All you have to do is enjoy what is on offer.


April 2021 – Nature wakes up once the snows have gone. What can we see in our gardens and local parks and green spaces. Results of the March challenge. Make a “Stumpery” in your garden.
– Download here: April 2021 – The Wildlife Challenge


March 2021 – Learning to Look – How many late winter birds can you see this month? Download details from these links.
(A) The Challenge/Project
(B) Some helpful notes and information