Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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UK Educators Meet in Sunderland

23 November 2004

BGEN Conference

"Ways into Learning" was the theme for this year's annual conference run by Botanic Gardens Education Network (BGEN). Over 60 delegates attended from botanic gardens, museums, zoos, national trust properties and other related institutions throughout the UK. The four day programme consisted of key note speeches, workshops, posters and site visits to look at interpretation.

Ben Gammon, Head of Learning & Audience Development at the Science Museum, London talked about how people learn in informal settings, David Bellamy offered a global perspective on current plant biodiversity education issues and Andy Simpson, Head of Education for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) introduced the Real World Learning campaign which aims to encourage more children to experience nature first-hand. Julia Willison and Sarah Kneebone from BGCI presented a paper and ran a workshop on implementing the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation through education. Delegates identified how their institutions were addressing each of the GSPC targets and discussed ways in which they could collaborate on raising public awareness about plant conservation. Ideas included running co-ordinated campaigns, holding national botanic garden days, organising a national conference on Target 14 and lobbying government. These ideas will be consolidated into a paper and circulated to all BGEN members for discussion.

For more information contact: Erica Bower, BGEN Co-ordinator, c/o Museum No. 1, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB. Tel: 020 8241 8915. Email:

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