The Green Roof Organisation partners with children’s author, Jenny Bailey to encourage childhood engagement with nature.
In celebration of World Green Roof Day (6 June), The Green Roof Organisation (GRO) has partnered with children’s author and nature enthusiast Jenny Bailey to release ‘Journey to the Green Roof’, an interactive children’s book, to inspire nature engagement from an early age. See the complete article here

Journey to the Green Roof – Inspiring children to think about green roofs and understand the benefits this type of structure can have to biodiversity and the environment.
See the complete article here

Recently we took part in the Transform our World Youth Summit 2022 and shared a live Stanley the Water Vole session with hundreds of children across the country and beyond.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and made the event so special.
See the complete article here

Unfortunately, there was an issue with the sound at the start of this video, please bear with us, it kicks in after a few minutes, and before the story starts. Please enjoy the subtitles and BSL in the mean time!

As a mother with an autistic child, our co-founder Jenny Bailey is delighted to share this.

“This is so wonderful and really it confirms what we already know. Children NEED the outside and the freedom to explore. Thank you Svetlana Robertson for allowing us to share and for writing a thought provoking and fabulous piece. Bring on the mud!!”

NO YOU DON’T NEED A SENSORY BEDROOM for your child. Seriously, you don’t.

Diagnosed or suspected autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, behaviour issues and so on. What a great business selling all sorts of ‘special’ things to frustrated parents. ‘Special needs toys’, ‘sensory toys’ are advertised almost like a prescription kind of thing.

Guess what – a bedroom is where your child needs to wind down, rest and sleep. It’s not a disco, nor is it a gadget shop. None of those bells and whistles or flashing lights are needed either for sleep or during the day, and will be overstimulating. You might even find that your child’s sleep improves when you got rid of all those.

Well, OK, you can keep one lamp with a red bulb – there’s some evidence that red light might be helpful to wind down at bedtime.

You do want the best for your child. I have seen many mums showing off their latest version of ‘the sensory room’ – and even more mums saying they are jealous that they can’t do this kind of thing due to lack of space or not being able to afford all the shiny stuff.

This shiny stuff is being sold as a substitute for how to feel like a good parent. Making you feel happy for a moment or two, thinking that now you bought the latest shiny object, you have done the best for your child.

And yet, quite the opposite is true. Your child does not need all those latest tech gadgets, shiny and loud bells and whistles. By the way, he or she doesn’t really need Spiderman/Elsa curtains either. You can throw the ready made plastic tent out, too.

How did society ever survive just a few years ago without all those things?

What your child needs is feeling safe, play, interaction, movement and nature. All the real things. Those with additional needs and various struggles, need that even more. Not be kept in the ‘sensory room’ with hundreds of toys, flashlights, sensory lamps and other weird ‘sensory’ gadgets. This stuff does give a boost – to the economy of those countries where it is cheaply produced. Not to your child’s development.

The brain changes and develops in response to the environment it is in – the kind of environment you create, will create a brain and a child matching that environment.

If you really want to boost your child’s brain development – there are better things, and they are free. Long walks in nature whatever the weather, playing in the mud. Yes. Mud. Very sensory enriching and completely free.

Written by Svetlana Robertson, BSc (Hons) Psychology, Child Neurodevelopment Consultant

An Interview with Jenny Bailey on The Great Georgia Pollinator Podcast. Jenny chats with Becky Griffin, Community and School Garden Coordinator, Certified Beekeeper/Pollinator Health Program Associate from the University of Georgia, USA.

Julie Paillaugue, Environmental Scientist focused on Climate Change/Holistic Resilience and Adaptation Actor/Nature Enthusiast. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Have you ever wondered how can one have children without thinking about the future, not only from a self-centric point of view, but also from a global community perspective? ‘Community’ here put humans back into the biodiversity context: “man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” said Rachel Carson1.

It was when talking with a colleague about my international degree that I realized quite a few of my peers (including me) ended up with depression and needed a break from studies. ‘The major’, you’ll ask? Climate change. Under all its angles. Scientific mainly, but also political, legal, economic. Yet, an essential part was missing. A tribute to all the positive enterprises, the actions that proved their worth, the ambitious people and their creativity, working to reduce impacts, preserve biodiversity, restore the soils and so on, at their scale, for a Butterfly Effect. The display of hope was lacking. Even if the drastic changing climate and its effects are well en route, the initiatives to help and promote pollinators conservation are flourishing. We just don’t hear about them as much as we should. Not profitable enough for media, I guess.

Maybe you are scratching the back of your head, wondering how exactly climate change is affecting pollinators survival rate, and thus human’s food safety? Preferred habitats of numerous bumblebees appear to be the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, notably in colder climates such as in high mountains and arctic environments1. Higher temperatures, extended drought periods and the difficulty for pollinators to cope with recurrent extreme weather events is leading to a decrease of their habitats availability and is likely to diminish even more their population2, 3, 4.

Higher temperatures also mean higher susceptibility of getting diseases and parasites for bees, generating colony collapse5. The growing unpredictability of seasonal changes is another threatening factor for pollinators, as the moment when flowers are producing pollen and the moment when pollinators are ready to feed on them may not be synchronized anymore3, 5.

Climate change may be hardly scalable and reachable for children and adults, as far as the leverage of our individual actions. Yet, the Butterfly Effect has taught us the incredible possibilities of small initiatives. Higher public awareness about the importance of pollinators biodiversity has triggered a higher citizens engagement in local conservation initiatives in several European countries6. Such trends then fuel more inclination for organic agriculture practices, pesticide-free green areas management, collaborations between NGOs and businesses to fund wild pollinator projects, more pollinator-friendly habitats created and restored in urban, rural areas and national, regional parks. Simple actions such as planting pollinators-friendly corridors7 or even small green areas, leaving wild parts of our yard8 (no more long Saturday afternoons on the lawnmower burning fuel, yay!), planting native vegetation9, saving their seeds for next year and sharing them with the neighbors, can make a significant difference. 1 + 1 + 1 + … + 1 = infinity (∞). I believe in changing minds by ‘showing the example’, no heated debate needed. Our actions and passions, as citizen, parent, friend, often carry more weight and influence than any word could.

Finally, no matter the age, the outdoor nurtures healing, but also creativity, problem-solving, observational and listening skills (oh how crucial in our communication-deficient society), to name a few. Helping biodiversity means reconnecting with Nature, and thus reconnecting with our deepest nature.


  1. Carson, R., 1962. Silent Spring. 1st ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  2. Nieto, A., Roberts, S.P.M., Kemp, J., Rasmont, P., Kuhlmann, M., García Criado, M., Biesmeijer, J.C., Bogusch, P., Dathe, H.H., De la Rúa, P., De Meulemeester, T., Dehon, M., Dewulf, A., Ortiz-Sánchez, F.J., Lhomme, P., Pauly, A., Potts, S.G., Praz, C., Quaranta, M., Radchenko, V.G., Scheuchl, E., Smit, J., Straka, J., Terzo, M., Tomozii, B., Window, J. and Michez, D. 2014. European Red List of bees. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.
  3. Jackson, L., 2019. East of England Bee Report: A report on the status of threatened bees in the region with recommendations for conservation action. Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, Peterborough. [online] WWF. Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2021].
  4. Roberts, S.P.M., Potts, S.G., Biesmeijer, K., Kuhlmann, M., Kunin, B., Ohlemüller, R., 2011. Assessing continental scale risks for generalist and specialist pollinating bee species under climate change. BioRisk 6, pp.1–18.
  5. Duran, L., 2017. The buzz on climate change: It’s bad for bees. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2021]
  6. Underwood, E., Darwin, G. and Gerritsen, E., 2017. Pollinator initiatives in EU Member States: Success factors and gaps. Report for European Commission under contract for provision of technical support related to Target 2 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 – maintaining and restoring ecosystems and their services ENV.B.2/SER/2016/0018. Institute for European Environmental Policy, Brussels.
  7. Open Access Government, 2020. Eight conservation success stories of 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 September 2021]
  8. Singelis, P., 2021. Here’s how you can help save bees and other pollinators. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 September 2021]
  9. WWF, 2021. 5 tips on how to transform your garden into a wildlife haven. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 September 2021]
Green reads and activities for you & your children

Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac, 1997. The Keepers of the Earth series:
Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children
Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children
Keepers of the Animals: Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children

Tristan Gooley, 2015. The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills.

Angela J. Hanscom, 2016. Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children. 1st ed. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.

Richard Louv, 2008. Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. 2nd ed. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

Linda Åkeson McGurk, 2018. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge). 1st ed. New York: Touchstone.

Suzanne Simard. How trees talk to each other. TEDSummit, 2016,

Peter Wohlleben, 2016. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from A Secret World. 8th ed. Vancouver: Greystone Books.

To go further

Moore, Robin C, 1997. The Need for Nature: A Childhood Right. Social Justice, vol. 24, no. 3 (69), pp. 203-220. Available through: JSTOR website [Accessed 25 August 2021]

Taylor, A.F., Kuo, M., Sullivan, W.C., 2001. Coping with ADD. The Surprising Connection to Green Play Settings. Environment and Behavior, 33(1), pp.54-77. Available through: ResearchGate website [Accessed 25 August 2021]

Last month we had a lovely interview with the wonderful Karen Black at HubFizz.  Thank you so much – what a joy it was to share our story/mission with your audience, about reconnecting children with nature and helping them feel better about their future by conserving the wildlife of today. We can all do something to help and we’re all in this together.
Listen to the interview here.
We recently chatted to the Wise Woman Show about all things conservation.
Catch the interview here.

Chris Symons

It’s Friday; late frosts nip the buds of emerging shoots and coat the lawns with a carpet of sugar frosting. The sun in April skies, spreads dappled shade under budding trees, with greens and yellows especially bright in the spring sunshine.

I’ve joined Mark Douglas of Bee 1 on his land, just outside Neath in South Wales. Apart from putting names to faces, I’m here to assist him in relocating three colonies of bees to their new home in the valley’s. I don my mask and join him in his car. In the back are three Nucleus boxes (‘Nukes’) containing around 60,000 bees complete with their Queens.

Although we can’t hear them, I’m assured by Mark that they are probably a tad fed up, after being rattled around in the back of the car for over an hour, and now as we complete their journey with a mile and a half of bumpy gravel track to their final destination, I would imagine they’re planning their revenge!

Several cattlegrids later and we climb steeply to a clearing in the gorse bushes. In front of me is our ‘Phoebe the Bee’ hive, busy with workers coming and going. Tales from Mother Earth are currently collaborating with Bee1 in getting the conservation message out to children about Bees and other pollinators and has very kindly donated a home for Phoebe.

Mark initially hopes to get a copy of our book to all primary schools in Wales.

Next to that, there’s a fenced off area containing the main apiary, with an array of different hives and the all-important field HQ of Bee 1. I’m charged with carrying one of the Nukes and placing it on a vacant hive, which will become their new home. I suddenly feel the huge weight of responsibility in their success.

We leave the nukes to settle for half an hour or so to calm the bees down, while Mark shows me around the apiary, describing the different hives, looking inside one of the empty hives and talking about his work and the relationships with his sponsors and supporters. Despite the buzzing all around me and the obvious activity around the entrances to the hives, I felt surprisingly calm in the bee’s presence. With the gorse in full bloom, we could see the bulging pollen sacks on the bee’s legs as they returned to the hive after their mornings foraging. Interesting, I noticed the activity being more prominent around the hives that were currently in the sun.

“Right,” said Mark. “Time to get you suited up.” And so, it was a first for me, at 59 years old and with no hesitation, I found myself looking through the netting of the head covering in my bee cover-all suit, with my host also duly attired.

Chris SymonsPhoto opportunities taken, I discovered that bees don’t much care to have their pictures taken, so no luck there. I then rotated the disc on the front of the nuke to open the entrance allowing the bees to escape, stepping back briskly in case some of them were still looking for vengeance.

In this situation, Mark tells me that bees will fly straight upwards to get a bearing on the hive’s location, taking note of landmarks and trees to guide them home after foraging. He then tells me that the nuke will be left in place for a while before moving the queen and brooding stock to the new hive directly under the styrene box which has been their temporary home.

Having commissioned the three colonies, Mark and I return to the car smiling.

Bee1 was set up to promote the awareness and importance of bees in our ecosystem, and also to use bee keeping as a way of helping in the treatment and recovery to mental wellbeing in humans. The other biproducts from bee keeping is the wonderful honey they produce. Bee1 is also developing and marketing products, from Hive building kits and instruction courses for bee keeping, to honey and flavoured drinks and alcohol. All these products come with a strong message that bees are the most important species on the planet and to also highlight the dangers of the decline in the global populations of all pollinators.

My thanks to Mark for an enjoyable and educational visit. It was truly wonderful to share this experience and to get close to the bees, and to see Phoebe’s home in the beautiful and idyllic countryside of South Wales.

It was wonderful chatting with Paul Wilson recently when Jenny joined his Happy Head Podcast. They discussed many subjects from bees, hedgehogs, sustainability to mindfulness and planting – in all honesty there wasn’t many topics they didn’t touch on. Grab yourself a cuppa and join us to listen in.
Thank you Paul for the invitation and for being such a great host.
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