Guides & resources
How-tos, guides & resources for nature connection, nature play, wildlife learning and sustainability.
Arranged, as much as possible, in chronological order, most recent first
150 free outdoor activities and challenges that can be used by schools and community groups as well as families independently (no matter what age, ability or circumstance). All activities are free and downloadable from the website. Children can get certificates by completing challenges which are organised seasonally for easy navigation.
An Explorer’s Guide to The Lost Words
This free guide by Eva John accompanies The Lost Words. It’s for anyone with an interest in nature, words and images who wants to explore further some of the ideas and creatures conjured up by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris in their enchanting ‘spell book’. Also seasonal posters to download, info on how to run your own training sessions and other related resources – all free.
John Muir Trust, 2018
The #NatureForAll Playbook: an Action Guide for Inspiring Love of Nature
Designed to inspire action, with strategies and ‘plays’ – simple nature connection activities – and case studies of organisations having a go. Hard to describe, this is worth taking a look at to kickstart or boost what you already do.
IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) and Canadian Parks Council (CPC), 2017 (pdf)
Woodland Trust guide to British trees
Identify, discover and learn about Britain’s native and common non-native trees in this comprehensive A-Z guide. Includes pictures and fun facts about their uses, folklore and threats.
What you need to know about birding with kids
Sections on getting started, basic supplies for the beginning birder, bird watching at home, tips on backyard birding with kids, birding in the field, apps, and more.
Back Road Ramblers (US), 29 March 2017
Reading The Story Of Nature – The Art Of Tracking
Blog post that considers the meanings and philosophy of tracking, as well as offering 6 Steps to Learning & Growing in the Art & Science of Tracking.
We Are Wildness, 7 October 2016
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
‘Guidance to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way that avoids human-created impacts… adapted so they can be applied in your backyard or your backcountry.’
Leave no Trace, c2012
Creating Green Roofs for Invertebrates
A best practice guide. “This guidance is aimed at anyone who is considering installing or planning to install a biodiverse green roof. It specifically outlines how green roofs can support invertebrates, particularly those associated with wildlife-rich brownfield sites.” Includes a review of key research.
Buglife, c2011 (pdf)
Connection to nature questionnaire for 8–12 year olds
“The CNI is a ‘trait’ measure which means it has been designed and tested for use in determining changes over a relatively long period of time rather than as the result of a single intervention or session. For example it could be used to see if children’s connection to nature had increased or decreased after taking part in a programme for 6 months but not to see if connection had changed after an afternoon session at a field centre or nature reserve.”
A Parents’ Guide to Nature Play
‘Learn about what makes great nature play, why it is important, and how you can restore it to your children’s daily lives.’
Greenhearts (US), 2009 (pdf)
See also from Greenhearts
Nature Clubs for Families toolkit
‘Inspiration, information, tips and resources for those who are – or who might be – interested in creating a Nature Club for Families.’ With a quick-start guide, case studies, checklists, downloadable forms and more.
Children & Nature Network (US) (pdf)
St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Advice Fact Sheets
Welfare advice and what to do if you find an injured animal, as well as info on IDs, habitats, handling, traits and young / breeding / life cycles, etc of native UK wildlife. Includes: amphibians, badgers, bats, deer, foxes, hedgehogs, moles, mice, owls, red kites, reptiles and wild rabbits & hares.