Find help and local expertise

The National Education Nature Park programme's five-step process to make improvements for nature on your learning site can help to structure your thinking about improving your outdoor areas for nature. Guidance for the first set of improvements - grey to green - can be found here. After using the Nature Park resources with your learners to understand your site and identify the best improvements, it’s vital to continue involving your young people in making changes. Keeping them engaged creates new ways to connect with nature and feel a sense of ownership over the changes being made.

For some tasks, such as removing hard standing, digging a pond, or installing raised beds, you may need to bring in the outside help of an external contractor or seek professional advice. There will also be a vast network of local nature enthusiasts and growers who can provide advice or help support your activities. This page provides some considerations and organisations you might think about when finding help. We also have a Finding funding page where you can find more information on funding the improvements you want to make for nature.



Before hiring external contractors consider

Have they worked in education settings before?

Are DBS checks required for working on site?

Are they a community-focused, socially responsible or environmental organisation who can bring added value to projects? 

Will they prioritise designing a space that is good for nature and your students, whilst continuing to function as multi-use?

Can they support teachers and young people in engaging with the build process?

Can they support the school estate team on maintenance plans?

Does your Local Authority have an approved supplier list?

Find charities with design experience in biodiversity solutions for education settings

Find landscape architects, garden designers, arboricultural and ecology professionals

Finding local expertise and networks of growers