Local Biodiversity Outside Your Window

A photo of a stream running through lush green woodland trees.

This resource is five lessons, which each focus on a different activity; species identification, habitat, hibernation and mindfulness. These lessons have been designed to be done around the South Edinburgh green space of Blackford Hill (including the Hermitage of Braid and Braidburn), but it could be adapted to any outdoor space. The target for this resource is children of nursery age (3-5 years old).

Outdoor learning and environmental education are powerful tools used to establish human-nature connections. Raising awareness of local biodiversity and the importance of co-existing species within ecosystems can motivate intentions to care for and protect wildlife. Introducing these concepts at a young age can help foster early environmental stewardship and allow individuals to explore their feelings towards nature. The resources includes details of the relevant aims, outcomes, extra teacher information and any potential further activities. The activities are designed to be fun and engaging to help the children develop an interest in the content.


Learning outcomes:

Biodiversity and Interdependence

SCN 0-01a: I have observed living things in the environment over time and am becoming aware of how they depend on each other.

Properties and uses of substances

SCN 0-15a: Through creative play, I explore different materials and can share my reasoning for selecting materials for different purposes.

Mental and emotional wellbeing

HWB 0-07a: I am learning skills and strategies which will support me in challenging times, particularly in relation to change and loss.

Listening and talking; enjoyment and choice

LIT 0-01c: I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts, sharing my thoughts in different ways.

Creating texts

LIT 0-09a: Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message.

Art and Design

EXA 0-02a: I have the freedom to discover and choose ways to create images and objects using a variety of materials.


In this resource

This resource bundle includes pdf and editable versions of the following:

  • Teachers guide: including details of equipment, learning outcomes, instructions for the activities, teacher’s notes, potential health and safety risks.
  • Animal Habitat Information Guide
  • Plant and Flower Identification booklet


Check out the “Local Biodiversity outside your window” resource on TES here

To find more Open Educational Resources from the University of Edinburgh, visit open.ed.ac.uk


This resource was created as part of the GeoScience Outreach Course which is a 4th year undergraduate course in the School of GeoSciences aiming to provide students with the opportunity to develop their own science communication and engagement project.

This resource was originally developed for the ‘Arcadia @ Kings Buildings’ Nursery.

CC BY-SA logo

This resource was created by Ellie Sutton, as part of the Geoscience Outreach course. Adapted by Alysha Wilson. Unless otherwise stated, all content is released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. 


Header image: “Hermitage of Braid” by Magnus Hagdorn (Flickr) licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0