‘A great silence is spreading over the natural world’

English: Callyspongia sp. (Tube sponge) attrac...

English: Callyspongia sp. (Tube sponge) attracting cardinal fishes, golden sweepers and wrasses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When musician and naturalist Bernie Krause drops his microphones into the pristine coral reef waters of Fiji, he picks up a raucous mix of sighs, beats, glissandos, cries, groans, tones, grunts, beats and clicks.

The water pulsates with the sound of creatures vying for acoustic bandwidth. He hears crustaceans, parrot fish, anemones, wrasses, sharks, shrimps, puffers and surgeonfish. Some gnash their teeth, others use their bladders or tails to make sound. Sea anemones grunt and belch. Every creature on the reef makes its own sound.

But half a mile away, where the same reef is badly damaged, he can only pick up the sound of waves and a few snapping shrimp. It is, he says, the desolate sound of extinction.

To read the full article – click here http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/03/bernie-krause-natural-world-recordings

Edited by Henricus Peters, NAEE Co-Chair and Learn From Nature

20 per cent of world’s invertebrates, are now endangered

Zoological Society of London

Zoological Society of London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

International Union for Conservation of Nature...

International Union for Conservation of Nature logo in 2007, before “World Conservation Union” was dropped as an official name. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Invertebrates, the key monitors of the health of habitats, are – still – in trouble … When will those with backbone – us – ever learn?  Your thoughts here or at NAEEUK

A startling 20 per cent of world’s invertebrates, including insects and worms, are now endangered. The Independent’s Michael McCarthy reports

One-fifth of the world’s

Cover of "Animals Without Backbones (New ...

Cover via Amazon

, “the little things that run the world,” may be heading for extinction, according to the Zoological Society of London.

The society (ZSL) suggests that about 20 per cent of the world’s insects, spiders, worms, crustaceans, molluscs and other animals without backbones are endangered, for reasons ranging from pollution and over-harvesting to the effect of invasive species.

The report, entitled “Spineless”, and produced in conjunction with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which compiles the Red List of threatened species, is the first attempt at estimating the global conservation status of invertebrates.

Read the full article at Learn From Nature by Henricus Peters, NAEE Co-Chair


The Big Biology Giveaway!

Join the BES, the Biochemical Society, Society of Biology and the Science Learning Centre London on the 17th September 2012 with a whole host of other biologically minded societies to hear some great biology and collect free resources for your school.http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/documents/education/biology_giveaway.pdf

Cumbrian Schools Environmental Excellence Awards Presentation

This competition was open to all Cumbrian Schools as a way of highlighting and publicising the excellent work that is undertaken in so many of them and is rarely given the priority it deserves in official inspections.

Each school was asked to say what their recent achievements have been and how they would like to spend a possible prize of £500 to further improve their environment. It proved too difficult to select one winner that was so much better than several others so £250 is being awarded to each of these four equally excellent schools:


Esthwaite Primary,

Kirkoswald CE Primary,


Ulverston CE Infants;

and a smaller runners-up prize to Roose Primary.

The presentation of cheques will be made at Cumbria Outdoors Hawes End Centre on the shores of Derwentwater, Keswick on THURSDAY 13th SEPTEMBER at 4.30pm.

Mick Waters, a respected advocate of all that is best in education, an ex Cumbrian teacher and headteacher, latterly CEO for Manchester and then head of QCA, and recently appointed as NAEE President, was one of our competition judges and will be the guest presenter.

Environment Cumbria has been promoting the value of Environmental Education for over 40 years in partnership with the National Association. We have used up funding held for a revised  county resource guide, which is no longer deemed necessary, for the competition and remain keen to recruit a new generation of educationalists who can see the value of learning IN, ABOUT and FOR the ENVIRONMENT.

Sowing New Seeds – Seed Saving Workshops

These will provide you with detailed training on seed saving techniques from a range of crops including exotic crops. It will include how to keep your seed pure, how to pollinate crops,seed extraction, drying and cleaning methods and storage.

Birmingham Saturday 25th August  between 12 and 3 as part of Walsall Allotments open day, Victoria Road Allotments, Darlaston, WS10 8AP

Coventry Sunday 9th September, between 12 and 4 as part of the Heritage Day at Allesley Walled Garden Allesley Hall Drive, Allesley Park Coventry CV5 9AD   Leicester Saturday 8th September, 2 – 4.30 pm at Leicester Ecohouse, Parkfield, Western Park, Leicester LE3 6HX

Nottingham Saturday 6th October, 10.30am  – 1pm at Ecoworks, Ecoworks Community Garden, Hungerhill Allotments, Ransom Road, St Anns, NG3 3LJ

NEW Forest School movement launched

On July 7th the Forest School movement reached a milestone in its history in the UK.  After two years of consultation and many years talking, the new independent Forest School Association was launched.  The first Directors were duly elected, there was a healthy debate about the name of the organisation which has now been decided on, and it is the Forest School Association, there was the usual networking and a variety of workshops.  The day had a real celebratory feel to it along with a sense of ‘pulling together’.  The association will be a voice for Forest School, support practice, ensure quality training and push forward on research.  It has been welcomed by many including patron Tim Gill who said:

I am very honoured to be asked to be the patron of the first national association for those working to take forward the Forest School movement……………… For me, the potential of Forest School is built on two vital foundation stones: the intrinsic qualities of natural places, and the intrinsic motivations and learning impulses of children. If Forest School is to leave a lasting impression on the lives of the children and young people who experience it, these two need equal emphasis…………. I look forward to following and cheering on the work of the Association, and I am happy to do whatever I can to help take the organisation forward.”

Source : http://www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=104

Forest Schools have featured in many articles in Environmental Education journal – https://naeeuk.wordpress.com/naee-journal-and-publications/environmental-education-journal/

Compiled by Henricus Peters, Co-chair of NAEE

Launch of the new ‘Forest School Association’

Saturday 7th July 2012 saw the launch of a new national body for those working in UK Forest School settings – the ‘Forest School Association.’ The launch event was seen as a milestone in the growth of Forest School in the UK with almost 200 participants braving the elements to undertake workshops and networking sessions, which all took place outside. The event saw the first Directors elected, a group of whom will function as Officers to the body and aim to represent the variety of those involved with Forest School. The association will be a voice for Forest School, support practice, ensure quality training and push forward on research.

(Information taken from www.lotc.org.uk)


The new association will take time to develop and more information will be available on the IOL website in coming weeks, see: www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=104

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into accelerating ice loss

Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent.

Experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) made the discovery below Ferrigno Ice Stream, a region visited only once previously, over fifty years ago, in 1961, and one that is remote even by Antarctic standards.

Their findings, reported in Nature this week reveal that the ice-filled ancient rift basin is connected to the warming ocean which impacts upon contemporary ice flow and loss.


To read the entire press release visit www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1866

Win $60,000 in the Incredible Green Contest!

The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy are giving away a big prize for students, read what they have to say about it here:


All over the world people are suffering from the threat of extreme weather. In the United States, heavy rainstorms hit the East coast, while droughts and forest fires have broken out in the West coast. The northern hemisphere has been affected by heat waves, while Australia suffers from the highest temperature in thousands of years. Michael Oppenheimer of the United Nations Panel on Climate Change and Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research expressed that the recent high temperatures, heavy rains, and forest fires are all evidence for climate change caused by the green house effect. And this is just the beginning. In the future abnormal weather patterns will become increasingly frequent.As global citizens we need to recognize our joint responsibility to slow down climate change and raise awareness on the impact of climate change on the Earth.


Information and Communications Technology is currently applied to many aspects of human life. Although the ICT industry emits 2% of the annual global carbon emissions, if we incorporate ICT to different fields, we can reduce up to 15% of carbon emissions! Therefore, ICT is an important tool to carbon reduction in the future and the way we include ICT in green innovation is key to environmental protection.


The Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy (TAISE) and the Acer Foundation have organized a competition this year called the Incredible Green Contest. The purpose of this international competition is to inspire students of any gender, age, or nationality to creatively find a way to solve environmental issues through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). These issues can be about conservation of energy, reduction of carbon emissions, ecological protection, or anything environment-related.


Students can register individually or in groups up to five people. Up to three mentors are allowed per group. The incentives to join this competition are boundless. The first place winner(s) wins a huge monetary prize of $60,000 and two of the finalists will receive a complimentary trip Taipei, Taiwan with a visit to COMPUTEX 2013. Mentors of the winning team will be granted a research grant of $5,000. Prizes are also available for runners up and other honours.


Creativity has no bounds and we hope that you, as environmental educators, can help promote the Incredible Green Contest so that students can express their ideas of how to save the green Earth through ICT.


For more information, please visit: http://taiseen.org.tw/en/


By Tina, Event Coordinator, TAISE