The Urban Nature Project

A fox sleeps in the sun on some constrction rubble in the Museum gardens

A fox makes itself at home in our garden.

We're working to give people across the UK the motivation and tools to safeguard nature in towns and cities.

The five-acre site in South Kensington is being transformed into a welcoming, accessible and biologically diverse green space in the heart of London.

Our gardens will be a place for people to learn about the diversity of life on Earth and how our planet is changing over time. They will also showcase our scientific research.

The Museum's gardens will be opening in summer 2024

See what's happening in the gardens. Contact the site team.

A living laboratory

The Urban Nature Project is developing new scientific tools and skills urgently needed to monitor, understand and protect urban nature.

Our gardens are a hub for urban nature identification and field survey skills. We're piloting a range of technologies for monitoring change in urban environments, including eDNA and acoustic monitoring, where an array of recorders will listen to the gardens, pond, soil and even inside the trees. 

We're also developing a new public-facing biodiversity and environmental monitoring data ecosystem to help capture, share and interpret urban nature data.

Make your mark

This momentous project will not be possible without your help.

Right now, you have the opportunity to make your mark in the Museum gardens like never before. From sponsoring a square metre of garden to dedicating a bench to a loved one, a donation to the Urban Nature Project is the perfect way to be a part of this historic project. 

Find urban nature education resources

Our Explore: Urban Nature programme provides training for teachers, curriculum-linked learning resources and hands-on outdoor workshops. 

Students can also get involved in a community science project, Nature Overheard, a project created allongside students and developed with their ideas and questions.

In partnership with the Prince’s Trust, we have created a Youth Worker Toolkit to support informal ways of learning. It equips youth workers with activities and conversation starters they can use with young people to open the door to nature around them.

We have facillitated a Youth Advisory Panel to give young people a voice. So far, we have heard from 24 young people and supported their personal development and skills.

Working together to explore and make space for urban nature

Working with local groups, we are co-creating activities and resources for family learning in our new gardens. These resources include what plants and animals you can find in London, self-guided experiences in the gardens and nature-friendly crafts and activities.

We are also developing a new volunteer programme and summer programme for school leavers.

School groups will also be able to explore the gardens and take part in a programme that focuses on building a connection with nature, valuing biodiversity and what actions they can do to help nature. 

A group of four people with spades and tools work in a garden in front of some flats

We are working with London’s Grow2Know as they help local residents to plant and maintain their own prairie garden and find out more about the species living near them. Museum scientists have found 58 tiny animal species living in the Prairie Garden space on Lancaster West Estate. 

Does nature live in your neighbourhood?

Find out how to monitor and identify wildlife living in urban areas. You’ll be contributing to scientific research and helping to boost biodiversity in cities and towns. 

Funding

We thank all those who have generously contributed to the Urban Nature Project, including:

unp funder logos

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