Happy Birthday LEEF

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Despite the difficulties of train travel, it was a real pleasure to attend a 30th anniversary meeting of LEEF (London Environmental Educators' Forum) on Monday at the London Natural History Museum.  This was a well-attended, well-organised event with a theme of urban environmental eduction.

There were three short talks (all good), two panels (I really enjoyed the afternoon session), ten workshops, a fine accordion player at lunchtime (great food), a story, and an artist who drew the themes of the day.  Quite a mix, and it worked.  There was also a birthday cake.

It was good to see NAEE's journal (vol 122) given to everyone who was there, as this had been a collaborative venture with LEEF on the theme of the conference.

It was one of those properly provocative days when the inputs nudged you into thinking about your own context.  Not only in the sense of what you do, but where and how you live.  There were inputs from Manchester and London which invited a comparison of these two great cities from the environment / sustainability (and education) perspectives – and also for me about my rural location /isolation.

It reminded me that I live in that other small bit of England that might properly be called 'Not-London'.  This provides many shades of green on a Winter satellite image, but is not always "green" in a biodiversity sense as there is a lot of grass and mono-agri-culture.  The urban and the rural sometimes seem remarkably similar in that the richness of  nature depends on hedges, gardens and woods.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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  • Hi Bill, I'm so glad you enjoyed the conference. Please see the out come of the graphic facilitator on our website. You are always welcome to our events in London, and I think possibly some closer relationship between 'London' and 'Not-London' would be helpful. And I don't mean HS2! Sadly, I've just found out that one of our keynotes, Anjali Ramen-Middleton, was prevented from meeting a large national group of youth climate strikers because flooding was blocking so many travel plans. Oh the irony. I'm pleased that you found that you were prompted to think about your context, so was I, and to the young people facing a future with increasing weather unpredictability this must be a real wake-up reality. In London we've been largely protected from flooding this time, although apart from struggles in education, there are other struggles taking place: for control of green space, for relief from the endless pursuit of development, for clean air. Progress we've made in education is all in the context of a very much larger movement, and that's something that educators need to be aware of. Thanks again for your input and support, we appreciate it.