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C8 Hands On Conservation

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Aim: To explore the concept of conservation, the organisations that care about it, and how you can make a contribution to this cause. Taken from the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Community Project C-8


Taster 1
• Photographs/newspaper cuttings
• Pictures from the internet that depict environmental damage

Taster 2
• Writing material
• Internet access

Taster 3
Flip Chart

Christian Faith
Sticky Labels

as required


Taster 1 - Why Does Conservation Matter ?

Aim: To consider how human activities are hindering conservation efforts, and how local communities can work together to alleviate problems caused by such activities.

Our world’s current use of resources such as fossil fuels, wood and fresh water is at an unsustainable rate. Stan thinking about conservation, and how people can work to preserve and protect the environment:

• What does the word conservation’ mean?
• What is the dictionary definition?
• Can you think of any examples of conservation in your local community?

Display a series of photographs from newspapers, internet sites etc. that depict environmental damage (i.e. littering, pollution, oil spills, endangered species, use of natural resources). For each picture, the group should consider the ways in which the environment is being affected. Consider a range of local, national and global impacts, as well as short-term and long-term.

For each of the headings below, discuss ways in which we can practise conservation:
• By Law, e.g. providing protection to animals, plant species or special areas of land or water
• Restoration
• Alternative Energy
• Nature Reserves and Zoos
• Recycling
• Education

Discuss ways in which people in local communities can work together to prevent continued environmental damage.

Tips / Advice:
Go to www.bp.com and navigate to the BP Educational Service, for excellent free resources on Climate Change and the Carbon Footprint toolkit including fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, games, and projects.

Taster 2 - Research A Conservation Organisation.

Aim: To research a conservation organisation, how they operate and their objectives.

There are a vast number of organisations within the UK whose primary objective involves the practices of conservation and environmental management, whether on a local or national scale.

Produce a short research file on one such organisation. It is up to you how you structure your report, but the following points should be considered:

• When was the organisation set up? By who?
• What are their main aims and objectives?
• What benefits do they bring to the environment? Is it on a local or national scale? Are they long or short term?
• What range of activities do they undertake? Give examples.
• How are they funded?
• Do they rely on paid workers, volunteers or a combination of the two?
• What successes does the organisation think that they have so far achieved?

Collect information about conservation organisations.

Tips / Advice:
Examples of UK National conservation groups to research:
• The conservation Foundation www.conservationfoundation.co.uk
• Environment Agency www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/conservation

However consider researching a company who has undertaken conservation work in or near to the area that you live. This way you will be able to explore organisation from The perspective of someone who has been directly or indirectly affected by them.

Taster 3 - The Big Tidy

Aim: To investigate areas of problem littering in your area

Walking down the street there is one thing you are bound to see and that is rubbish.

Think about:
• What is waste and liner? Have two sheets of poster / flipchart paper and ask them to write a definition on each. List on the waste sheet different types of waste that might be produced. Then repeat the same on the litter sheet.
• What problems do you associate with each? e.g. fly Upping, chewing gum, dog fouling etc.
• What happens to our waste? Where does it go?
• What are problem areas in your local area? On a map identify areas that they feel have a regular problem with litter and or waste, e.g. a green area always has dog waste present, or a local shopping area is regularly filled with fast food litter.

Choose one issue and research the problem:
• What are the legal issues?
• What is the government policy?
• How could you tackle the problem?

Have a look around your local area at potential problems.

Tips / Advice:
The Big Tidy Up www.thebigtidyup.org
The Big Tidy Up will be the country’s biggest ever tidy up with groups and individuals right across the country tidying up their local area. Volunteers register online at the Big Tidy Up website and once registered they will be sent a tidy up kit to help them with their tidy up. Contains excellent information on planning, publicity, equipment, health & safety, managing your tidy up, and results.

Christian Faith - Our Environmental Experience

Aim: To raise awareness of the issues surrounding conservation and our response.

Think about an issue that concerns you regarding conservation and the environment, e.g. rainforest destruction, increased carbon emissions, and so on.

• Write it on a sticky label.
• Collect these labels and place one on the back of each member of the group, ensuring that it is not their own.
• Move around the group, asking questions about what is written on your back. You can only ask questions which can be answered yes or no, and can ask each group member only one question, before moving on.
• After this activity, place all the labels on a table.
• As a group, place each label in order of importance/priority.

Read Genesis 1:25-28; 2:8-9, Joel 2:21-27, and Romans 8:18-25.

Think about:
• Do you think God wants us to strip the earth of its resources or take good care of the world?
• What examples are there of harnessing and using the world in a non-exploitative way?
• What does the Bible teach about the relationship between humankind and the environment?

Although the Bible teaches that we should respect and not abuse creation, it also teaches that people are uniquely different from the rest of God’s creation because we are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). God has trusted us with the care of his world but he remains closely interested. The Bible teaches that God knows and is interested in the smallest detail of life on planet earth.

Romans S teaches that Sin has affected creation as well as human beings, and Paul teaches that all creation looks forward to a day when it will be made whole again. This has been seen as a good excuse to be careless about looking after the world, but others believe that we are responsible for being part of the healing process.

Tips / Advice:
Use an accessible Bible translation.

Project - Organise And Carry Out Your Own Conservation Project

Aim: To organise and implement your own local conservation project, or to take part in a large scale project.

Project Description:
Option A — Organise your own local conservation project
Think about an area within your community that your volunteer efforts could have a real impact on. Jot down some initial ideas. Some suggestions could include:

• A clean-up operation in a local park
• Planting trees / gardening / landscape
• Constructing / repairing a fence
• Installation of wildlife features i.e. bird tables / huts

Think about:
• What time frame do you have? e.g. a day or weekend.
• When could you do it?
• What could you realistically achieve with your group size within this time frame?
• Whose permission do you need? Whatever conservation project you finally decide upon, you will most likely need to seek permission from the local council — you should make initial contact by telephone/email to ascertain how you need to go about gaining approval for your project.
• What equipment will you need?
• What will you need to purchase?
• What could you borrow from friends and family?
• What risks are there?
• How will you publicise this event?
• How will you record the results?

Option B — Take part In a large scale conservation project with a recognised body A number of UK organisations across the country hold regular, quarterly or annual large-scale conservation events for which they require the assistance of volunteers.

Below are some examples of UK conservation volunteer programmes:

• British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) www.btcv.org.uk
The charity was set up in 1959, and has a successful history of environmental conservation volunteering throughout the UK and around the world. BTCV runs regular one-day conservation tasks all over the UK, during the week and at weekends. You can join in every once in a while or every week — the choice is yours. Tasks vary from tree planting to dry stone walling, footpath construction to creating wildlife habitats. No previous experience is required — trained project leaders guide people through and who are free to work at their own pace.

• National Trust www.nationaItrust.org.uk
Make it happen — volunteer with Europe’s most successful conservation movement. Looking for an exciting and interesting way to make a difference in conserving the environment and the UK’s heritage? Whatever your interests or skills, the National Trust would love to hear from you. Learn new skills, meet new people, work right at the heart of amazing buildings, gardens and landscapes. Just imagine what you could do!

• Adopt-A-Beach and Beachwatch www.adoptabeach.org.uk
Adopt-a-Beach and Beachwatch are coastal environmental initiatives organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), involving local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their coastal environment. People can adopt their favourite stretch of coast and take part in annual or quarterly beach cleans and surveys to monitor litter throughout the year and help to campaign for cleaner seas. The Adopt-A-Beach and Beachwatch initiatives are able to cater for large youth groups.

Planning for the Future
Discuss what you came across on your activity. Draw up a list of points that you feel are important. Put together a short presentation or record of the project, and how you can continue to tackle the problem. Make some suggestions for some future action points. Use this to share your experiences with others, e.g. church, council etc.

Tips / Advice:
• Why not incorporate the project as part of a company residential/weekend away?

• The Big Tidy Up wsw.thebigtidyup.org
The Big Tidy Up will be the country’s biggest ever tidy up with groups and individuals right across the country tidying up their local area. Volunteers register online at the Big Tidy Up website and once registered they will be sent a tidy up kit to help them with their tidy up. Contains excellent information on planning, publicity, equipment, health & safety, managing your tidy up, and results.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
You will need to discuss issues regarding health and safety in your project with your leaders.

For full details see the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Community Project C-8


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