Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Resources from Roots

Each edition of Roots, the BGCI education review for botanic garden educators, includes a section looking at the lastest in education resources - both websites and hard copy materials. This page contains the resources recommended in the most recent issues of Roots published on the BGCI website - Roots 3:1 - Access for all; problems and solutions.

Click through for resources listed in

Roots 2:2 - Master planning for education

Roots 2:1 - International agendas: Implications for botanic garden education programmes

Roots 1:2 - Botanic gardens and zoos: Synergies for the future 


Roots 3:1 - Access for all; problems and solutions

Hard copy resources and materials

English Heritage (2005) Easy Access to Historic Landscapes, English Heritage, UK

These guidelines provide practical advice on how to increase or improve access to a site in an inclusive and integrated way.  Produced by The Sensory Trust, a UK access charity, the guide introduces the principles of access, the process of creating an access plan and how to identify and solve access issues.  Although some of the information specifically relates to UK legislation, most of the key concerns will be similar for any site.  Case studies provide useful examples of improving access.

Download the PDF or order free from English Heritage Customer Services on + 44 (0)870 333 1181

Research Councils UK (2005) Evaluation: Practical Guidelines

A clear and east to use guide to some of the techniques and methods for evaluation.  This publication discusses evaluation strategy, data collection and data handling.  It is designed specifically for people who run activities such as talks, hands on events and exhibitions, so is directly relevant to botanic garden educators.  The guidelines provide a simple, practical introduction to evaluation approaches.  Examples of evaluation questions and questionnaires and the excellent further reading recommendations are particularly useful.

Downloadable from website For a hard copy, contact


Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability (ARIES) (2005) – A National Review of Environmental Education and its Contribution to Sustainability

This review assesses current environmental education practice in Australia and identifies the needs across the various sectors: school, community, business and industry and further and higher education.  Based on research undertaken by ARIES, this review is relevant to all those involved in the design and delivery of environmental education.  The five volumes, which make up the review, highlight opportunities to improve policy, practice and research.  Volume one, in particular, will be useful for botanic garden educators as it provides the conceptual basis for understanding environmental education’s contribution to sustainability and identifies the various approaches to learning for sustainability.
Download or for hard copies, contact the ARIES coordinator at


Resource Audits

Lists of available environmental education resources can be invaluable for practitioners trying to find help, advice or ideas.  The following examples from the UK and South Africa provide excellent models.

Conservation education resource materials available in the Cape floristic region

Ally Ashwell, 2005. C.A.P.E. (Cape Action for People and the Environment) Conservation Education Program.

This comprehensive list describes resource materials, such as books, worksheets, and posters, for use by environmental educators.  Each resource reference includes details of its target audience, language, availability and how it can be used.  The materials are ordered thematically to cover the main ecosystems (fynbos, marine, montaine etc), living organisms (plants, mammals, invertebrates) and environmental topics (urban greening, erosion, environmental policy).
Download or request via e-mail to

Botanic Gardens Education Network (BGEN) Resources Directory (2005)

The BGEN directory was written and compiled by the network members.  It concentrates on resources, suppliers, and specifics of legislation that directly apply to botanic garden educators in the UK.  As well as information, the directory also includes details of members’ personal skills and experiences that are available to share; thereby helping to strengthen connections within the network.

Limited number available through BGCI – contact

Earth: A graphic look at the sate of the Planet  (Wall Chart)

This detailed and colourful wall chart has been produced by The Global Education Project, a Canadian NGO.  It provides a graphical summary of a wide range of environmental issues; from climate change and species extinctions to debt, population, and food supply. The poster uses information from the United Nations, official government agencies, academic sources, and NGOs.  The huge amount of data it contains could be the basis for many education sessions. Use the website to preview the charts and written descriptions of some of the topics covered.

ISBN 0-9731864-2-9. The Global Education Project, PO Box 241 Mansons Landing, BC, V0P 1K0, Canada or through their website. The wall chart is 67.5cm X 90cm in size and is available folded (US$15.95) or laminated (US$29.50) plus postage and packing.



National Center on Accessibility

The National Center on Accessibility is a collaborative programme between Indiana University and the USA National Park Service.  It is designed to promote access for people with disabilities in recreational activities.  The NCA offers distance learning courses on improving access, undertakes research into access issues and provides technical advice.  Its website contains research findings, information about training, best practice case studies and a free newsletter. A list serve has been set up to keep members up to date with news on access developments.

European Environmental Toolkit for Citizens

This site is part of the European Union’s Environmental Portal.  It provides access to two resources.  The first is ‘Jiffy’s Eco-quiz’, an information-packed ecological-awareness quiz that could be used with students to explore their understanding of sustainable living.  The second is the European Environmental Toolkit, a database of education and communication resources (such as books, games, websites, and activities) that aims to encourage environmentally-friendly behaviour.  The database is searchable by country, language, audience, resource type and topic.  The website can be accessed in almost all European languages.

IUCN Commission on Education and Communication E-newsletter

Subscribe via the website
The Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) is one of IUCN’s six Commissions; formal knowledge networks comprising expert volunteers entrusted to develop and advance the institutional knowledge, experience and objectives of IUCN.  This new monthly newsletter provides details about CEC meetings, initiatives and reports.   Available to everyone, the newsletter is intended to keep readers informed about international environmental education policy.