Natural History in the Changing World

Ref: C2225672

Many worldwide habitats are changing rapidly as the climate becomes less stable and the damaging impact of humans on the planet intensifies. Some species are coping well with these changes, but for others the future is less certain. This course will look at several topical examples from land and sea, including the issue of plastic waste, and will consider which species are the winners and which are not. The students will be encouraged to examine how the attempted management of diverse wildlife sites on land or in marine environments can make a contribution to the overall biodiversity and wellbeing of such habitats. Modern methods of monitoring plant and animal populations will be discussed as well as the importance of international cooperation for the protection of the environment. There will be opportunities to observe some locally common species and hone identification skills as well as trying out some monitoring of nearby sites.

Course aim

Using specific examples this course will examine examples of wildlife that are adapting to changes in their habitats on land or sea and consider the outcomes of possible conservation measures.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • this course is ideal for anyone with a passion and enthusiasm to discover the wonders of the natural world.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe some of the expected consequences of an unstable climate on selected habitats
  • Describe different ways of monitoring mammal or bird populations
  • Describe the positive outcome of some terrestrail and marine conservation measures
  • Describe the possible impact of plastic waste on wildlife and what can be done to reduce this problem
  • Identify confidently a number of plant and animal species which are present in your local area

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Every encouragement will be given to take time to look at the all aspects of the natural world outside the classroom.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to compile a file to help to record your observations of the natural world

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • A note book and an inquiring mind. There will be a field visit and car sharing will be encouraged.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Natural History in the Changing World


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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