The benefits of incorporating biodiversity projects into school estates are widespread, affecting both the school community and the wider community.
Creating excellent learning environments
The creation and management of biodiversity projects often lies with school staff, pupils and volunteers in the community. By designing and maintaining flexible spaces school estate managers can support learning and teaching in school grounds. In particular these spaces can offer diverse learning environments for the delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence and Outdoor Learning.
Health and wellbeing
Biodiversity in school grounds can contribute to the health and wellbeing of pupils, their families and other members of the local community.
Biodiversity projects encourage an active interest in the outdoor world and health-giving physical activity.
Biodiversity and sustainability are closely interconnected themes. Biodiversity projects can contribute to creating school estates that are more sustainable.This work can contribute towards Eco-schools status.
Meeting wider local authority objectives
School estates make up an important element of local authorities' outdoor spaces. Using these spaces to contribute to key, long-term objectives for more sustainable, greener spaces makes sense.
Landscape design for biodiversity is not necessarily more expensive than 'normal' landscaping.
- Planning for biodiversity in the early stages of a building project helps to minimise cost.
- Maintenance costs for biodiversity projects can be lower, for example where grass is cut less often.
- Biodiversity projects can attract volunteer involvement, making a limited budget go further.
Biodiversity on a budget explores options for using resources effectively.
Case study - Achahoish Primary School
A garden area was created in the new school at Achahoish in Argyll and Bute. Key features include biodiversity, growing food, and water management through designing-in ponds and run-off systems.
The pupils investigated their local flora and fauna with the help of SNH and Forestry Commission. The school took part in RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch and Wildsquare using the environment of the school. The pupils used collaborative learning techniques to study and investigate Scottish Law on Endangered Species. Through this part of the project the pupils discovered a variety of different habitats and biodiversity in and around the school grounds.
Find out more information on Achahoish Primary School on the Scottish Government school estate case study web pages .