Human effects

Geologists are proposing that humankind has so changed the earth that it has brought about an end to one epoch of earth’s history and marked the start of another. They believe that human dominance has so physically altered the earth that the Holocene epoch has ended and we have entered a new epoch - the Anthropocene.

Image by: World Resources Institute


'Climate Strike' is Word of the Year

Talking of single use, Dutch brewing company Heineken has today announced that it will be replacing single use plastic can toppers used on its mult...


2014 warmest year on record

This means that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since the year 2000.  This serves as further confirmation that human emissions o...


2015 is warmest year ever recorded

Data collected by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed that the global average temperature was 0.13C warmer t...


2016 set to be hottest year on record

A report published by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) was published at the Marrakech global climate summit yesterday.  It says that the...


2019 was greenest year for UK energy

According to a new report by the Carbon Brief website, renewable energy from solar, wind, hydro and biomass produced more electricity than fossil f...

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Acid Rain

Acid rain is a result of air pollution. When any type of fuel is burnt, lots of different chemicals are produced.

Agreement in Warsaw

In the meantime, the delegates will be returning home  to work on their own countries’ ‘contributions’ to reducing carbon emissions, which will com...

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Animal rights

Should animals be given more rights, to live and not suffer?

Another Crisis At Fukushima

The tanks have been built in a hurry from steel plates held together by bolts with plastic seals between the joints. It’s these seals which are now...


Are we now living in the Anthropocene?

The geological time of our planet is divided up into epochs.  You will have no doubt have heard of Jurassic Park.  Well, the Jurassic ran from 200 ...

Around the world in 585 days

Planetsolar is a catamaran and in each hull, there are 4.5 tonnes of batteries, which can store sufficient energy to keep the boat powered for up t...


Ban proposed on single use plastics

Cotton buds are becoming an increasing hazard in our oceans, as they are often flushed down the loo after use and end up being washed out to sea.  ...



With around 250 species of bee living here in the UK, these key pollinators make a huge impact on our lives - even if we don't always realise it!  ...

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We humans not only live in the biosphere but are absolutely dependent upon it for almost every aspect of our existence. 

Bird Breeding and Traffic

The great tit, a bird that can be found all over the UK, is one of the birds affected.  Male great tits sing songs to attract females to breed with...

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Birds in the City

Over the last hundred years or so, large cities and their surrounding housing suburbs have grown, replacing countryside habitats. Many species of b...

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Britain's Rare Flowers

Explore the UK's rare flowers, each section gives ideas about what you can do to help.  


Calling young writers

At YPTE, we would like to start giving young people the chance to have their voices heard about environmental issues.  So from now on, we'll be pub...


Celebration of green cuisine in Paris

Yesterday, the winners of Eurostar's 'Create a Sustainable Business Dish' competition were presented with their awards at a ceremony held at the Ga...

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Climate Change

The earth's climate has seen many changes in its 4.55 billion years.

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Climate Change

An introduction to climate change for use in the classroom.  Recommended for Years 5-9.

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Climate Change Update Part 1

The last time Conservation Education looked at the subject of climate change was in 2006.  In the last nine years, like the climate, some of the th...

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Climate Change Update Part 3

The problem is already here In recent years, we have seen Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, superstorm Sandy hit New York, New Jersey ...

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Climate Change and Animals

This factsheet takes a look at some of the challenges that animals might have to face in the future.  How does climate change affect them?


Climate Change for Parents: The Facts

It's really important that you've come here, because we need lots more people to realise the scale of what we are facing and get involved in creati...

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Climate Change update Part 2

Why are they called ‘fossil’ fuels? Around 165 million years ago, vast numbers of little animals and plants called plankton lived in the world’s...

Climate campaigners walk out of talks

It just two weeks since Typhoon Haiyan caused enormous devastation and thousands of deaths in the Philippines in the latest example of extreme weat...


Climate change

The fact that human activities are increasing the rate of climate change is now almost universally accepted by scientists.  In this suite of lesson...


Climate change update

The Bank of England has said that up to £16 trillion of assets could be wiped out if the current climate emergency is not tackled effectively by bu...


Cold Areas: Antarctica

This suite of lesson plans explores the continent of Antarctica.  Designed to be used alongside the Powerpoint presentation, packed full of stunnin...

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Cold Areas: The Arctic

This set of lesson plans explores the Arctic - one of the coldest regions on our planet.  The accompanying Powerpoint presentation brings the Arcti...


Common lizard

As its name suggests, the common lizard is the most common reptile in the UK and is Ireland’s only native reptile.



The rubbish we throw away everyday is polluting our Earth. A lot of this rubbish comes from our gardens and kitchens and the good news is that this...

Conservation Education 22 - Weather

Britain is famous for its changeable weather. We are always talking about it and there is a saying “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minute...

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Conservation Education 24 - Rainforests

Imagine that you’re in a thick, dark forest. It’s very hot and sticky and the sweat soaks your t-shirt. You can hear the sound of wild animals all ...

Conservation Education 25 - Oceans

Into the deep blue sea....... Look at the earth from outer space and you will see a beautiful blue planet. It’s blue, because an amazing 70% of the...

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Copenhagen Climate Conference

The Copenhagen Climate Change summit was a gathering of world leaders in the capital of Denmark over a two week period from 7th - 18th December 200...

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Could you grow your own home?

The idea of building with straw has been around for a long time, but in recent years, it has been something that only ecologically-minded Britons h...

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Desert Regions

When you hear the word 'desert', what picture does it bring to mind?  Perhaps you think of a very dry place, a place without people or plants livin...



It has been said that forests came before human beings, deserts followed them. Desertification is becoming a major problem as more and more of the ...


EU backs ban on single use plastics

The ban doesn't have legal force yet.  Member states still have to back the directive before it can become law, but with voting so overwhelmingly i...

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Earth Summit 2002

The World Summit on Sustainable Development organised by the United Nations (UN) in Johannesburg was held in August and September of 2002.



It is against the law to steal from or hurt other people, and it is against the law to kill another person.  But, is it against the law to destroy ...


Electric Cars

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular.  In this factsheet we explore why.


Endangered Animals of the World

Endangered means to be under threat or near extinction.  When a species/animal is endangered it means that they are disappearing fast or have a ver...



The following chapters describe the various forms energy can take and the story behind humans, energy, fuel and the environment.



Our planet is changing.  We need to help it change for the better and we're asking for your help to do that!

Even CO2 emissions are being outsourced

The UK’s emissions of carbon dioxide have reduced between 1990 and 2008 by 19% – mostly as a result of switching to gas rather than coal to fuel ou...

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Food of the Future

As the world’s population grows every minute, there are more and more mouths to feed.  In fact, there are so many mouths to feed that ‘overpopulati...

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Food: Fairtrade

It can be difficult for farmers in poorer countries to get a fair price for the food they produce; Fairtrade exists to address this issue. These...


Food: Farming and the Environment

As consumers we can choose to buy food that has been produced ethically and sustainably. These resources comprise a set of informative teacher n...


Food: Food Miles

The food we eat makes up about 30% of our carbon footprint.  Knowing how far it has travelled and how it has been stored is essential if we wish to...

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Food: Food Waste

Around a billion people don't have enough food to eat, yet we throw away around a third of all the food produced. These resources comprise a set...


Food: Packaging and Recycling

Our food is packaged in a variety of ways, all of which have impacts on the environment.   These resources comprise a set of informative teacher...

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Freaky Friday Facts about plastic

Eleven top plastic facts 1.  16,000 plastic bottles are made in the world EVERY SECOND! 2.  500 billion plastic bottles are made in the world E...


Fuels and Energy Resources

A suite of 3 lessons for Key Stage 3 with accompanying PowerPoint presentation to compare the pros and cons of different types of renewable and non...



The powerful earthquake which hit Japan on 11th March 2011 caused a tsunami which added to the destruction of millions of people’s homes and liveli...

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Genetically Modified Foods

There is much concern about GM foods, some of which are being tested and some of which are already used as ingredients in the food we eat. 

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Global Warming

Global warming is the increase of average world temperatures as a result of what is known as the greenhouse effect. 


Good news for the planet!

In the United Kingdom from April to September 2016, some 6,696 gigawatt hours (5.4% of the UK's electricity over the period) were generated by sola...


Greenhouse gases at new high

Against the backdrop of a climate emergency, the gap between targets set by governments for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the real sit...

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Greenhouse gases at new record level

Average global CO2 levels in 2017 were 405.5 parts per million - almost 50% higher than they were before the Industrial Revolution.  WMO Secretary ...

Have Your Say On Sustainability 2013

We travel with the winners of the Young People's Trust for the Environment and Eurostar's 'Have Your Say on Sustainabilty' competition to the Europ...


Have Your Say on Sustainability

The makers of the three best films will win the chance to travel to Brussels and meet with MEPs at the European Parliament in Brussels so that you ...

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Have Your Say winners visit Brussels

The winners met with MEPs at the European Parliament and were able to both deliver their presentations on their chosen topics to some of Europe's k...

Have your say on sustainability!

For the competition, young people aged 11-18 are invited to create a short video clip sharing their views on the environmental issues that concern ...

Having Your Say On Sustainability

The judging for Eurostar and YPTE's 'Have Your Say On Sustainability' video making competition has now been completed.  We received lots of brillia...

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The Anglo-Saxon word for enclosure was ‘haeg’ or gehaeg’ and this is were we get the word ‘hedge’.


Hot Areas: The Sahara

This suite of lesson plans explores the Sahara - the largest hot desert on Earth.  It also looks at the spread of the Sahara into the Sahel and the...

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Groups of hunters can still be found in Canada, North America, South America, Africa, India, South East Asia, and Australia.  


Last male northern white rhino dies

He was living at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, and was put to sleep by vets there after the pain from a degenerative illness he was suffering...

Less Arctic Ice Than Ever

So it looks like our climate is changing and things are getting warmer. But three years of data proves nothing. There are blips and variations in w...


List of Talks

The school talks service is now available again for a limited time for schools within a 30-mile radius of our office in Yeovil. To make a bookin...

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Make climate change a greater priority!

In his inaugural speech as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson said that Britain was  “leading the world in the battery technology that will help cut CO2 an...

Mass walkout by NGOs in Warsaw

The Conference of the Parties (COP) in Warsaw should have been an opportunity to make some progress.  And with the horror and devastation caused by...

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Meat Free Mondays

Meat Free Monday is all about reducing the amount of meat we consume because of its health and environmental benefits.

More Radiation At Fukushima

Exposure to this level of radiation for one hour would give 110 times the maximum annual dose of radiation permitted for someone working in the Jap...


New 25 year green plan announced by PM

Much of her speech to launch the plan concentrated on the issue of plastic pollution, which has come into much greater focus in recent months.  The...

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New halt to fracking in England

No future fracking projects will be allowed by the government until compelling new evidence is provided that fracking could be safe.   Preston N...


New videos now available

The two new short films, made by YPTE are on 'How electricity is made' and 'Renewable energy'.  Please take a look!

No relaxation of fracking regulations

A spokesman said on behalf of the government, “We set these regulations in consultation with industry and we have no plans to review them." Acco...

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Oceans of plastic

The new findings were released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting.  The amount of plastic reaching the oce...


Offshore wind farms

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has published its recommendations to the UK government regarding the UK’s fifth carbon budget, which is due t...

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Oil Pollution Case Study

The 147,000 tonne oil tanker Sea Empress ran aground on February 15th 1996 at 8.07 pm, despite being under the control of one of Milford Haven’s ha...

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It has been estimated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation that over 70% of the world’s fish stocks are either fully exploited o...

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At present there is still space enough on Earth for humans, wildlife and wild places; but what of the future?

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Ozone Layer

Ozone is a naturally occurring gas found in the atmosphere where it absorbs most of the sun's ultraviolet light - invisible rays which are harmful ...

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Palm Oil

Have you heard of palm oil?  How about vegetable oil or olive oil?  Oils from plants, vegetables, seeds and nuts have been used for centuries all o...

Paris climate deal comes into force

Delegates from almost 200 countries will be meeting in Marrakech, Morocco next week to consider their next steps.  A UN review of the pledges to cu...

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Penguin (Emperor)

Emperor penguins are very sociable creatures and live in colonies of anything from five hundred to twenty thousand pairs of penguins. It is very ra...


Plants: Year 3

A suite of four lessons on Plants, each with suggestions for classroom activities.  Accompanied by a presentation filled with excellent photographs...

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Plastic Pollution

This downloadable zipped folder contains a suite of lesson plans, for Key Stage 2 and above.  The lesson plans look at the problems caused by plast...

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Plastic Pollution

This presentation accompanies the Plastic Pollution lesson plans for Key Stage 2 and above looks at the problems caused by plastic and covers the f...

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Plastic bag charge may double

Speaking in Kenya yesterday, Mrs May said “I want to leave a greener, healthier environment for future generations, but with plastic in the sea sti...


Plastic found in tap water

New research published by Orb Media has revealed that 83% of tap water samples, taken from various sites around the world, were contaminated with m...


Play YPTE's first online game now!

In this game, you need to help Peter cross the ice in the hunt for food! There's a slight problem. Although real polar bears can swim a long way - ...



Pollution is a word that we are all aware of these days. What does it mean exactly? 



Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. 

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Rainforest Tribes

Rainforests are very rich in natural resources, but they are also very fragile. For this reason, indigenous people have become instinctive conserva...



Rainforests are forests which grow in areas of high rainfall.  Tropical rainforests are found between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capric...



This set of lesson plans looks at rainforests, with particular focus on the Amazon.  Lesson plans are brought to life by the stunning images in the...


Record high temperature in Antarctica

Meanwhile, Argentinian scientists based at Esperanza on the continental Antarctic peninsula recorded a reading of 18.3C on 6 February - the highest...



We produce more rubbish today than ever before.

Renewable Energy

Find out about renewable energy, including wind turbines, tidal turbines, solar power (photovoltaics, solar heating and solar power stations) and w...

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Reptiles (British)

Of the four living groups of reptiles, only one, the snakes and lizards is represented in Britain. Reptiles bodies are covered with scales. Lizards...

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River Pollution

It seems that almost every day there is another story about pollution of one form or another, in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we...


Sand lizard

Sand lizards are among the UK's rarest reptiles.  They are the only egg-laying lizard species n the UK.

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Save The Plants

There are around 400,000 plants species recorded in the world and many more waiting to be discovered and named. 


Scotland bans fracking

The public consultation attracted more than 65,000 responses, with 99% of replies originating from areas targeted by the fracking industry opposed ...

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Sea Pollution

It seems that almost every day there is another story about pollution of one form or another, in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we...


Single-use is 2018's word of the year

2018 has been a year for campaigning against single-use plastics, with the EU planning to bring in a ban on single-use plastics from 2021 and with ...

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Smooth snake

The smooth snake is the rarest of the three snake species found in the UK.  It can only be found in isolated areas in a few counties of southern En...


Some good news, some bad news

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) now looks like 2016 will mark another milestone for climate change for being the first yea...

Stop Ecocide

The late Polly Higgins, Lawyer for the Earth, calls for a change to the law to criminalise Ecocide. 


Surge in demand for biomethane

There are now 98 biomethane plants in the UK, which produce methane gas using food leftovers and waste from farms, including manure and grass silag...

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Sussex: Birds

Thanks to support from the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, we have produced this set of classroom reference guides, for use in Sussex schools.  ...

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Sussex: The Weald

Thanks to support from the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, we have produced this set of classroom reference guides to the regions of Sussex, for...

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Sussex: The Coastal Plain

Thanks to support from the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, we have produced this set of classroom reference guides to the regions of Sussex, for...

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Sussex: The South Downs

Thanks to support from the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, we have produced this set of classroom reference guides to the regions of Sussex, for...



If something is sustainable it should last forever.  To sustain something is to keep and support it for the future.  


Sustainable development

This suite of lessons looks at the environmental threats to our planet & provides plenty of involving interactive tasks to help children unders...

The Earth is Melting!

The first of our winning entries for Have Your Say on Sustainability, YPTE and Eurostar's video making competition for young people aged 11-18. Thi...

The Greenhouse Effect

Here is a short video to explain the greenhouse effect.  Great for teachers to use in lessons!

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The heatwave continues...

The Met Office has issued an amber heat watch warning today, which applies from 9am today to 9am on Friday in the Midlands, south-eastern and easte...

To Work on Two Wheels!

So, we take the train, we take the bus, or we take the car. We know that taking public transport reduces our carbon footprint, so in many cases it’...

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Trade and Endangered Species

Humans have always used wild animals and plants for their products, such as fruits and seeds for food, skins for clothing, wood for fires etc.

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This suite of lessons and activities for Key Stage 2 looks at the following issues: What were the earliest types of transport? Why do so...


UK MPs call for ban on microplastics

Huge numbers of tiny pieces of plastic are building up in our oceans, lakes and estuaries.  Microbeads are very small pieces of plastic, which are ...

UK fracking gets the green light

Shale gas is found deep in the layers of sedimentary rocks like, generally several kilometres underground.  There is an estimated 200 trillion cubi...


UK set to see wetter winters

Alarmingly, the research suggests that there is a high risk of record-breaking rainfall in the coming decade, with a 34% chance of an extreme weath...

UK’s new cars are greener than ever

The average emissions of new cars sold in 2011 was 138.1g/km.  By 2015, average emissions must fall to below 130g/km to meet with EU targets and by...



Vivisection is the practice of using animals for scientific and medical purposes.

Wall Of Ice For Fukushima

It sounds bizarre, but it would prevent leaking water from spreading further, if it works. It’s absolutely clear that something has to be done to p...


Water Cycle

A suite of five lessons on the water cycle, illustrated with a PowerPoint presentation and accompanied by suggestions for activities and experiment...

Wave energy

Here's a fab video from our friends at Explorium showing how wave energy gets converted into power we can use every day!


Wet wipes set for a clean-up

An analysis of these monster sewer-stoppers by Water UK, the membership body for water providers, found that the 'fatbergs' were in reality more li...


Why Plastic's Not So Fantastic

Short film on plastic, its uses, its history and why it is now presenting us with such a major environmental problem. Presented by YPTE Director Pe...

Why be a Young Trustee of YPTE?

Two of the Young People's Trust for the Environment (YPTE)'s Young Trustees, Larissa and Bella, talk about their experiences of being a Young Trust...

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Wildlife Areas for Schools

Schools that have begun to develop their grounds often invariably report that this has led to beneficial changes in the relationships, attitudes an...


Wind energy exceeds coal in 2016

The government has pledged to remove coal from the UK's energy mix completely by 2025, but it is now expected that the final plant will actually cl...

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Young chefs need to get cooking!

Entrants have to devise a dish using sustainable, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients that can be served on Business Premier, Eurostar's highest l...



The subject of the rights or wrongs of zoos can be very emotive with many unbalanced views being put forward by people who have little real knowled...

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