Environment - Time to smell the flowers

21st August 2009 at 01:00

A teacher who took part in a study which involved sitting alone in a patch of Scottish countryside from dawn until dusk left for Korea last week to tell an international children's conference on the environment about the experience.

Roseleen Shanley, who is principal teacher of religious, moral and philosophical studies at Bankhead Academy in Aberdeen, was one of seven participants in WWF Scotland's Natural Change project, aimed at encouraging deeper thinking about sustainability.

Among others who took part were Gavin McLellan, head of Christian Aid Scotland, Gurjit Singh, president of the National Union of Students Scotland, and Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot. Over six months, they attended a series of workshops and three "wilderness residential workshops".

She will speak about her Natural Change experience, and how it influenced her work, to 200 adult delegates at the 2009 Tunza International Children's Conference on the Environment in Daejeon. Its point is to give children a chance to learn more about environmental challenges and solutions.

Ms Shanley said she considered herself an outdoors person but, through the project, had come to realise that she tended to march through the countryside, seldom stopping to smell the flowers. She believes the key to persuading young people to be conservationists is first to give them a love of nature.

www.naturalchange.org.uk.

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