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Supported by WWF

From grey to green

Encourage your community to grow their own herbs or wild flowers, provide wildlife-friendly spaces and spread happy messages.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Gardening gloves
  • Recycled lolly sticks or round pebbles Old wellies or colander
  • Thin recycled card
  • Donated plants
  • Recycled plant pots
  • Recycled plastic bottles
  • Old wellies or colander
  • Peat free multi-purpose compost
WWF food for thought
PDF – 1.0MB
WWF what is biodiversity
PDF – 1.6MB

Talk to the community

Get out and about in your community to see if anyone will donate some plants to help with your project. Think about approaching garden centres, supermarkets and allotments. Many people have old plant pots in their garden that aren’t used. Why not collect used plant pots from people in your community and recycle them for your project?

The Activity

The activity you choose to do with your group will depend on the plants that have been donated. You can do one, two or all three of the ideas outlined below.

  1. Start by introducing the plants that have been donated. Explain the significance of growing your own using the ‘Food for thought’ poster, the significance of wild flowers in giving local wildlife a home using the ‘What is biodiversity?’ poster and the positive impact that plants can have on a person’s well-being (there’s a reason that flowers are given to celebrate, mark a special occasion and to cheer people up at difficult times).
  2. Ask your group to fill planters with the peat-free multi-purpose compost and to plant the donated plants/herbs.
  3. Now, encourage the group to make little signs, made from recycled wooden lolly sticks or pebbles to put into the planters, encouraging people who find them to pick them. Younger groups might need your help with writing, but they can decorate the signs themselves.

Herbs on the high street

You might write…

"Take a few leaves of parsley to sprinkle on your salad”

"Tear off a handful of basil to add to a veggie lasagne"

"Make a cup of herbal tea with a handful of mint"

Sign off with the name of your Scout group.

You may choose to add a social media handle if this is something your group already uses.

  1. Go out to your chosen places and leave the planters for people to discover.

Create a buzz

We’re creating a buzz in [name of town]. These important plants will provide food, a home and a place to breed for our local bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.

Sign off with the name of your Scout group.

You may choose to add a social media handle if this is something your group already uses.

  1. Go out to your chosen places and leave the planters for people to discover.

Happy plants

We planted this here to say…

You are blooming awesome!

I be-leaf in you!

You had me at aloe

You got this – encourage-mint!

I’m rooting for you!

Sign off with the name of your Scout group.

You may choose to add a social media handle if this is something your group already uses.

  1. Go out to your chosen places and leave the planters for people to discover.

This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved, here.

Reflection

Everyone has undertaken activities that helped them engage with the local community, increase biodiversity and help improve people’s wellbeing. How did it feel to do these activities? Were you excited about connecting with the community and how did it make the community feel? What do you hope will happen next? What do you think the benefit of ‘greener’ spaces could be to your local community and how will you help people access these spaces you have created?

Safety

Outdoor activities

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

Animals and insects

Be aware of the risks before interacting with animals. Be aware of anyone with allergies, and make alternative arrangements for them.

Gardening and nature

Everyone must wash their hands after the activity has finished. Wear gloves if needed. Explain how to safely use equipment and set clear boundaries so everyone knows what’s allowed.

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Hiking and walking

Follow the guidance for activities in Terrain Zero, or the guidance from the adventure page.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.