Here is an example of the training content of a biodiversity training course delivered over 12 weeks. In this training, each participant prepared and implemented a biodiversity plan for a chosen public area in their communities. During and following the webinar programme, the trainers visited each community’s site to guide the implementation of their plans.
1. Introduction and welcome.
Introduction to biodiversity, what it is, why it’s important, and why we are losing it.
Five guiding principles to help protect biodiversity
Introduction to the carbon cycle and how communities, organisations, and individuals can help their local environment store more carbon.
What is a habitat, how habitats are classified, protection of habitats
EU and national legislation for the protection of habitats
How to find out about the habitats and species that live in your local area:
Habitat classification systems (e.g., Fossitt, hedgerow appraisal system)
National Biodiversity Data Centre
Identifying habitats in the field: positive and negative indicator species in grassland; indicators of ancient woodland; quality assessment of water bodies
Carbon storage and measurement
3. How to record positive and negative indicator plants in grassland
Site visits start. Participants gain experience of how to assess an area for its biodiversity, how to monitor and measure biodiversity, and how to develop a meaningful, evidence-based plan
4. Gardening for biodiversity: soil
Everything you need to know about soil: what soil is, carbon storage in soil, microbial communities in soil, making soil (composting), green waste and how to manage it, different soils for different places, invasive soil organisms
5. Gardening for biodiversity: propagation
Working with tree and flower seeds: harvesting, storing, sowing, propagating. Creating your own plant nursery.
6. Looking at different habitats: grassy areas and grasslands, water bodies. Introducing these into the biodiversity planning process.
Five ways to increase carbon storage and how to measure it
Project work continues. Participants start to compile information about the existing biodiversity and habitats at their chosen site, and prepare a simple vegetation map
7. Looking at different habitats: the ecology of trees, hedgerows and plant communities. Invasive species, how to monitor and measure
Project work continues. Participants identify challenges facing biodiversity in their communities
8. Biodiversity and wellness. To help participants deepen their understanding of biodiversity and their connection with the environment.
The webinar will explore what biodiversity means to them personally so they can gain clarity as to how they can inspire others in their own unique way.
Learning to observe.
Developing a wellness walk.
Project work continues. Participants consider actions which connect positive mental well being with biodiversity and their chosen recreational area
9. Gardening for biodiversity: pollinator-friendly
What pollinator-friendly means, how to design pollinator friendly planting schemes which look beautiful, tips and tricks for keeping things low maintenance.
Propagating native species for re-introductions into your chosen habitats
10. Gardening for biodiversity: supporting wildlife
Creating habitats: woodlands, hedgerows, orchards, meadows. Bird and bat boxes, the pros and cons of bee hotels, making bee-friendly earth scrapes
Suppliers and resources
Participants share their ideas and planning progress and highlight the challenges they are experiencing.
11. Piecing it all together: case studies and designs for different outdoor spaces.
Planning through the seasons
12. Piecing it all together: developing the plan. Strengths, challenges, opportunities for each group’s public space. Looking at boundaries