The big project: into our hands

Funded by Scottish Natural Heritage

“to increase awareness, understanding and enjoyment of biodiversity, and engage many more people in conservation and enhancement” (Scotlands Biodiversity: its in your hands)

This resource comprises a series of stories, essays, interviews, images and other supporting material for anyone who is interested in getting more people engaged with nature – enjoying it, learning about it, looking after it. Getting nature back into our hands .

The diversity of this material means that it is not possible to summarize it in a few paragraphs, or to pull out “key lessons learned” or “examples of best practice”. Like nature, it speaks for itself, and different people will interpret it in different ways. We do however offer something of an overview – or a personal perspective - in the piece entitled “Letting nature speak for itself”.This draws on many of the case studies, highlighting some recurrent themes, and the broad implications for getting people engaged with nature.

We only looked at a few examples in detail, and the selection was not rigorous or representative. There are literally hundreds of initiatives, programmes, schemes, events and activities out there, and many are no doubt excellent. Our selection was determined in part by practical issues – easy access to material, key people readily available. We also wanted to illustrate a range of different approaches. And we also focused on examples which seemed highly regarded by a range of different people.

We were both hugely impressed by some of the initiatives, and the people who lay behind them, and wish to thank them all for their help.

This resource is not yet fully developed – there are video clips and a gallery of nature related art works to come, as well as links between stories. These should be developed soon on the Scottish Natural Heritage website. In the meantime we hope you find this preliminary material stimulating.

John Hambrey & Alison Munro March 2007

The stories

The views expressed in these stories are diverse: some are explicitly those of people we interviewed; others are the views of the authors, or the authors’ interpretations of the views of others. These views were developed by Hambrey Consulting and do not necessarily reflect Scottish Natural Heritage policy or thinking.


A grand day out- Highland Adventure safaris; the Scottish Seabird Centre; Vane Farm; Deep Sea World

Adding value to adventure - the John Muir Award

Ailie's Garden - at Stirling Art Gallery and Museum

The Friends of Braidburn Valley Park, Edinburgh

Connections - the canals of Scotland and the Work of the British Waterways Trust

Creative Nature - art and nature

Just the one Moa in Ferintosh- a community bird survey

FauldhouseForest School

Foyers Primary - a year in the life of Loch Bran

Red alert- sustain Dundee Red squirrel project

Focus on the food chain- how schools are getting involved in growing healthy food

Something Silver - salmon in the classroom

From rubbish to rhubarb - the Kelvin Clyde sustainable backyards project

Wet feet and dirty hands - practical conservation volunteering

The eagle's Kingdom - a childrens board game

Nature detectives

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