Natural Nations is an Erasmus+ funded project, led by our UK long term partner Learning through Landscapes and in collaboration with BirdLife Malta, Naturskolan i Lund, Lunds Universitet, and Sociedad Espanola de Ornitologia SEO (BirdLife Spain).
The project is a follow-up of the recent Polli:Nation project delivered across the UK, which supported teaching staff, pupils and parents from more than 250 schools. Polli:Nation enabled the group to find out what pollinators they already had in their school grounds and help transform them into pollinator-friendly habitats.
But “Natural Nations” will not just focus on pollinating insects; it will develop survey methods and encourage birds into school grounds too. We will produce resources to help schools identify birds in their grounds, as well as look at what changes can encourage more birds to visit e.g. habitats and food sources.
As part of the project, we will work with schools across the four countries to provide easily accessible resources that help pupils understand the importance of pollinating insects within the context of a 76% decline across Europe. Insects are also a crucial food source for many animals, including migratory birds which are also decreasing in numbers, and we will help schools understand this link too.
The third part of the project will focus specifically on culture. We will identify folk stories and songs from each nation that feature insects and birds, celebrating both what we have in common and what is individual about each nation’s heritage.
Natural Nations Goes Digital
Natural Nations Goes Digital is an Erasmus+ project led by Learning through Landscapes in partnership with Birdlife Malta, Sociedad Espanola de Ornitologia SEO (BirdLife Spain), Millbrook Primary School, Hellenic Ornithological Society, and Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves.
It was launched in July 2021 building on the work done by the Erasmus+ project Natural Nations and goes hand in hand with the Dinja Waħda topic “Learning through Nature”.
Lockdowns during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in more schools using online teaching resources and also highlighted the importance of engaging with nature, both for the environment and for our mental well-being. Combining these two important objectives, this project provides teachers with training in teaching through nature and how to care for nature on school grounds.
This project resulted in the production of an online course called Learning through Nature which offers teachers with educational resources about birds, pollinators and biodiversity!
Below, you will find a plethora of lesson ideas covering birds, habitats and vegetation, minibeasts and leaves, and pollinators. They have been carefully selected to cover all four seasons to support learning throughout the year, and adopted for Maltese nature features. The Natural Nations team has also developed a range of accessible lesson ideas that can be adapted for the different needs of your pupils. All the activities are recommended for age 7 to 14-year-old pupils.
Research suggests that species’ cultural heritage has the potential to inspire lasting conservation actions, in the industrialised society of today.
Therefore, Natural Nations collected a series of local names, stories and folklore that reflect cultural heritage related to pollinating insects, birds and plants in each partner nation, to help teachers explore this topic and instil curiosity about nature in cultural heritage across nations.