Wednesday, February 22, 2012

School Grounds UK

 I found this via playscapes and if I was a teacher I'd be transforming my playground into a natural play area as I write.......

There are more videos here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shaping Neighbourhoods: Children and Young People's Play and Informal Recreation SPG

Always good to hear about proposals for more play in peoples lives, especially in the urban environment. Here's hoping London lives up to the potential.

"The provision of play will become of increasing importance with the emphasis in the new London Plan on promoting quality of life and in encouraging lifetime neighbourhoods meeting the needs of all Londoners, at every stage of their lives. The draft SPG introduces or provides a greater emphasis than the previous 2008 SPG on:
  • the concept of lifetime neighbourhoods and the role of play provision in meeting the needs of all Londoners, at every stage of their lives;
  • the importance of ‘playable’ spaces in accommodating the presence of children in the capital and encouraging ‘shared’ public spaces that meet the needs of adults and children at the same time;
  • updated child yield figures and a new tool (Excel) to calculate the requirement for play in housing developments;
  • guidance on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to pay for play space and equipment;
  • promoting healthy lifestyles; access to nature and the use of natural features; and
  • community involvement and volunteering to increase the use and enhanced quality of play space provision."
This sounds excellent and definitely worth checking out. I'm particularly excited about the "access to nature" proviso......

Found via Tim Gill (who worked on the report as well).


Murmuration from Islands & Rivers on Vimeo.

This is really lovely...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Plant for the Planet

An organization started and run by kids.

"The Plant-for-the-Planet Children´s Initiative was founded in January 2007. It has its origin in a school presentation about the climate crisis of the - back then - 9-year-old Felix Finkbeiner. Inspired by Wangari Maathai, who planted 30 million trees in Africa, Felix developed at the end of his presentation the vision that children could plant one million trees in each country of the world to create a CObalance therewith. During the following years Plant-for-the-Planet developed to a worldwide move:  At present approx. 100,000 children in over 100 countries pursue this goal.

.....We kids have thought a lot about what we would do if we were in charge of the world (i.e. if we were the leaders of the world’s governments) and were preparing to meet up at the next decision-making climate summit.  What would we do in order to save our collective future?  In response to this question we have organised our answers into our own “3-Point Plan to Save Our Future.”

1. Put carbon in the museum.
2. Poverty into the museum through climate justice.
3. Planting 1,000 billion trees."

 They are truly fantastic.


How long do animals live?

Lovely graphic showing that tortoises really do win the race....

From this book and found via brain pickings.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Aspinall Foundation

Footage of Damian Aspinall's reunion with Kwibi, a 10 year old silverback gorilla he relocated into the wild after caring for him for 5 years. They hadn't seen each other in 5 years and Kwibi had been known to be aggressive towards other people.

I watched with bated breath. Truly amazing.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Sustainable Sites Initiative

Wonderful news that the American Society of Landscape Architects along with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden have developed guidelines for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.

Similar to LEED, but for landscape architects and not architects, they promote thought towards urgent global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion. At the moment they are voluntary but here's hoping they will become mandatory.

Check it out here.

Painting by Hundertwasser. My favourite artist.

And again kindness......

"The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery, and perseverance are secondary to that.”

By Roald Dahl


Via Americans against the Tea Party (Facebook).