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Living Landscapes

Accurate measurement of permeable and impermeable surfaces, buildings, native plantings, ornamental and food production gardens will give an overview of the habitats in your grounds. From this a school or centre can form a record of the living landscape and identify where improvements can be made.

What data will we collect?

  • The proportion of landscape types at your school/ centre.
  • The area of buildings, paving, grass and garden type. Garden type will be broken down into ornamental, food gardens and native plantings. 
  • The number of large trees and fruit and nut producing trees at your school/ centre.
  • How much native restoration is happening. 

How much time will it take?

You could gather this data in a day or spread it over a longer period, depending on the age of your students, whether or not you integrate this measurement into geography or maths lessons, and the size of the team doing the data collection. The first year of measurement will take the most time. Once you have made a base plan of the school/ centre with the major measurements recorded on it, data collection in future years will consist of updating your base plan to include changes such as any new garden areas or new buildings.

You will also need to set some time aside after planting season to record how many native trees were planted that year. Your data should be recorded on your Living Landscapes Audit Summary.

Resources to download: 

  1. Teacher Support Activities - Living Landscapes to provide a context for the landscape audit.
  2. Instructions and Data Collection Sheets - LL to guide you through the audit process.
  3. Living Landscapes Audit Summary Sheet to record your overall results.

You will need:

  • An aerial photo of the school/ centre and property maps.
  • Access to a photocopier and some grid-lined paper.
  • Trundle wheels and tape measures
  • Calculators, rulers, colouring pencil.

A note on uploading data to Measuring Change 

At this stage the upload data and reporting functions are not up and running for Living Landscapes, so for now keep your Landscape Audit Summary in a safe place so that you can track the changes when you repeat the audit in another year.