Wild City 2024 Launches at Salters’ Hall

Wild City 2024 launched last week with the Year 5 students getting their hands dirty exploring role of soil in our ecosystem. Outreach Ambassador, Alima, shares her experience of the day.

Year 5 students and their teachers from the six London primary schools joined the Salters’ Institute and Edible Landscapes London to kick-start the third year of the Wild City project. Over three days, students laid the foundation for the next four months of their biodiversity journey by exploring soil and the life in it. Our Outreach Ambassador, Alima, shares her experience with the students:

The two days I worked on Wild City were jam-packed with activities for the participating Year 5 students, such as the Mini Beast Dinner Party where students, teachers, and staff played the roles of organisms that reside in the soil. Everyone had a card that informed them of who they were able to eat, and who was able to eat them. If anyone came across someone that could eat them, then they were instructed to ‘briskly walk away’! This resulted in some fun speed walking races around the grand Salters’ Hall as ‘worms’ and ‘fungi’ and ‘spiders’ met each other.

I was so impressed with the students’ knowledge and attitude towards the inhabitants of the soil. When asked about an underground fungal network, one young learner immediately mentioned mycelium. Personally, I didn’t know what mycelium was until this week! As part of the last activity, which was the favourite, the students could get their hands in the soil. When encountering worms, they treated the little creatures with wonder and care, which was delightful to see. One learner mentioned to me that he has a microscope at home and he will use it to examine one of the rocks from the soil to determine what mineral it is.

I appreciated how Edible Landscapes London, who led the activities with the students, emphasised that soil is not at all ‘dirt’ but a living and amazing ecosystem that is essential for our survival. I hope that this will be a core message that will stick in the students’ minds as they grow up and that, as they did this week, they will continue to look at nature around them with new appreciation.

Now in its third year, Wild City is a free science-based project that brings to life biodiversity for Year 5 students, based in London. This five-month project will see students work with experts, the Salters’ Institute and Edible Landscapes London to explore the importance of green spaces in their lives and local communities. All schools will design a green space that supports and promotes biodiversity with the winning school having this design built at their school during the spring months.

For any questions or to get in touch regarding the Wild City project, please contact the Public Programmes Manager at [email protected]

Photos: Eva Palazuelos