The Botanic Gardens Education Network (bgen) promotes and advances the delivery of education in member organisations. We are a specialist support and training network for professionals working in education related to plants and the natural world. The network has more than 200 members, most of whom are educators in botanic gardens and other centres of environmental education in the UK and Ireland. Anyone is welcome to join bgen, though as a support network, those likely to gain the most benefit are professional biodiversity educators within the UK. You can learn more about our members and our work by following the menu links.

Promoting sustainable living

Young people who spend time outdoors and forge a connection with the natural world are more likely to become environmentally-aware adults. But engaging with plants and the natural world can play an important part in promoting sustainable lifestyles for people of all ages. It’s all too easy to feel that climate change is something that’s happening elsewhere, but plant collections throughout the UK have stories to tell of how plants here are being affected right now. Plant-based learning can offer compelling … Continue Reading ››

Opening doorways to careers with plants

Inspiration for career choices often comes from meaningful, personal experiences which spark an interest and a desire to know and do more. Whether it’s on a school visit, a family day out, or as a volunteer, learning about plants and the natural world can sow the seeds for a rewarding career in the horticultural or land-based sectors. Engaging with plant educators and specialists can open up a people’s eyes to a whole host of career opportunities, and help them develop skills … Continue Reading ››

Inspiring learners of all ages

Learning doesn’t end at school or university – people continue to build new knowledge, skills and experiences throughout their lives. Spending time amongst the natural beauty of plants can open people up to new learning experiences. From the towering spectacle of a champion tree at an arboretum, to the visual feast of an exotic plant display at a botanic garden, plants and trees have the power to make visitors stop and think and want to know more. Engaging with plants is … Continue Reading ››

Bringing learning to life in schools

The natural world that surrounds us is an invaluable source of rich learning experiences for schools. Stepping away from the classroom and into a garden or arboretum gives students the chance to experience plants at first hand and to learn directly from people who work with them. Teachers often find that real-world experiences bring learning to life by turning difficult-to-grasp concepts into something tangible and meaningful. It’s not just the obvious science and geography lessons where plant-based learning comes to the … Continue Reading ››