You will need
Before you begin
- To get the seeds for this activity, the group should harvest their own as part of a project. Someone from a local allotment or garden centre could even run a session to show everyone how to cultivate seeds from mature plants. If you’re unable to arrange this then a tutorial video, such as on YouTube, could be just as useful. Seeds could also be purchased, if this is the only option.
- Seeds and plants used in this activity should be pesticide-free, not genetically-modified, and organically grown by a sustainable grower.
- Get hold of some professionally-produced instructions for planting the seeds. These could be provided by your garden expert, a YouTuber or using information online from a reliable source.
- Organise for the group to give out the seeds to members of the public in a central location. You might need to contact the local council for permission; a shopping centre, market or library would work nicely.
- Spread the word about this project, using social media, or by contacting the local press. This is a feel-good story that involves giving back to both the community and to nature. Sharing the story raises awareness of biodiversity issues and encourages everyone to be on the lookout for seeds they can plant in the community.
Run the activity
- Give each person an envelope or bag and a copy of the seed planting instructions. The instructions should be attached to the envelope securely, using either a sustainable glue or a stapler.
- Unless it is already indicated, each person should write on their envelope or bag what kind of seeds will be inside so that the information's visible.
- Fill each envelope or bag with the relevant seeds. Do this over the seed's container to catch any that fall.
- Head out to the public location. Everyone should bring along their seed packets.
- Each person should give out their seeds to a member of the public, explaining what they are and how they’ll help the local environment.
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.
This activity has helped to raise awareness of biodiversity issues in the local community and help connect people with nature. What did you learn and was it easy to cultivate the seeds? What were the views of the community? What other ways could you work with the community to increase biodiversity?
- 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.
- Glue and solvents
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.
- Sharp objects
Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.
- Road safety
Manage groups carefully when near or on roads. Consider adult supervision and additional equipment (such as lights and high visibility clothing) in your risk assessment.
- Visits away from your meeting place
Do a risk assessment and include hazards such as roads, woodland, bodies of water (for example, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas), plants, and animals.
You’ll probably need more adult helpers than usual. Your risk assessment should include how many adults you need. The young people to adult ratios are a minimum requirement; when you do your risk assessment, you might decide that you need more adults than the ratio specifies.
Think about extra equipment that you may need to take with you, for example, a first aid kit, water, and waterproofs.
Throughout the activity, watch out for changes in the weather and do regular headcounts.