How the Nature Park works

By joining the Nature Park, your school, college or nursery becomes part of a vast network of spaces across the country

Young people are creating a vast network of green spaces across the country by improving their school, college or nursery for both people and wildlife.

By exploring, mapping out and caring for their spaces, they make improvements to turn the ‘grey’ areas a little bit greener, all while developing their connection to nature and vital skills for their futures.

From digging ponds to planting hedges, every small act makes a big impact. Young people monitor wildlife on their sites and our online map tracks the collective difference being made. Nature Park science researchers use the data to tackle real-world problems such as biodiversity loss.  

England's primary and secondary schools alone cover an area roughly twice the size of Birmingham, so together we can make a real difference!

By taking part in the Nature Park, learners lead the way in following a five-step cycle which can be built upon year on year.

The Nature park 5 step cycle

1. Getting to know your space

First up, you need to create your site boundary to add yourself to the Nature Park map! You’ll then need to take part in the mapping your site activities to understand your starting point. The data collected helps you identify where you want to improve your site and makes it possible to track the collective difference being made for nature across the country.

2. Identifying opportunities

This step is all about asking the question, ‘Where do we want to be?’. Using data you collected in step 1, you’ll consider what wildlife and people need to thrive, and what you’d like your spaces to be like both for now and for future generations. With a ‘whole school’ approach, everyone’s voice matters and everyone contributes their findings, opinions and experiences.

3. Making decisions

Building on steps 1 and 2, you’ll ask, ‘How do we get there?’ and explore plants and nature as solutions to big issues. In this first year of the programme, the focus is on turning ‘grey to green’, from growing pollinator-friendly buffets of flowers to creating rain gardens through catching every raindrop.

You’ll choose from these options, make decisions together and consider how to action these changes. By the end of this stage, you'll have put together a project plan including how the whole education setting will work together.

4. Making change happen

More resources coming soon

It’s time to put the plan into action! You’ll start to enhance your site to reach your goals, which might involve planting and growing, creating and improving habitats, fundraising and communication campaigns to spread the word, and more! You might get others involved from across your learning community and beyond as you work as a team to share skills and knowledge. 

5. Recording change

More resources coming soon

In the fifth part of the cycle you’ll ask the question, ‘What difference have we made?’ and use surveys and monitoring to reflect on what has been learned along the way. Through the data collected in this stage, you’ll be collaborating with Nature Park science researchers to develop knowledge about what impact different types of change are having on biodiversity across the whole country. It is also important to consider the human benefits of the changes you've made – do people enjoy the space more? Has wellbeing improved?

This step is a great opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved and inspire others by sharing the story of your Nature Park journey so far with the local community and other schools, nurseries, and colleges. The more people that get involved, the bigger impact we can have for people and the planet!

Getting started

Start your Nature Park journey by getting your whole setting on board and trying out some quick activities


Get started