education at a time of emergency

South West England

A new Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded partnership bringing together regional and national environmental education organisations to explore how best to update education responses to the climate and ecological emergency.

Education at a time of emergency


This ESRC funded 20 month project will empower Environmental Education professionals at a time of heightened environmental concern and crisis. We recognise that practitioners in the sector are looking to update their approaches and methodologies while seeking to encourage engaged citizenship and pro-environmental behaviour. Through a programme of research-led workshops and mentoring, we will work with organisations in the South West of England to develop a toolkit for environmental education practitioners based on the social science of behaviour change. The project will impact on partner understanding, confidence, and practice.




The project has five core objectives:

  1. Understanding: To establish a robust understanding of behaviour change and its practical implications for conservation and environmental education across all key partner organisations through seminars, workshops and mentoring.
  2. Resourcing: To co-develop an educational toolkit for practitioners, through shared best-practice in the South-West region; including accessible theory, practical application, and partner-generated case studies utilising the most up-to-date behaviour change research.
  3. Participation: To disseminate and share ideas and findings from the project beyond the key partners. This will be achieved through an iterative review process involving partners in the wider sector.
  4. Networking: To bring together practitioners and researchers in the fields of conservation and environmental education, to share experiences, shape priorities, and build on existing networks.
  5. Visioning: To enable wider impacts on policy, training and advocacy by developing links with policymakers for future development and up-scaling of the tool-kit.


Together with our partners we will:

  • Strengthen links with other organisations in the sector.
  • Infuse educational practice with the latest research into behaviour change and evaluation.
  • Receive a dedicated mentoring approach to help develop programmes and resources based on research-led practice.
  • Become part of an important project at the forefront of the response to the climate and ecological crisis.

This project began in November 2020 with its online sister project ‘Conversations at a Time of Emergency’. 

You can watch the recording of this event below.