Climate resilience gardens

Motivating climate resilient action through Lego Serious Play

Project summary

The project developed new opportunities to engage public audiences with NERC science in collaboration with RHS Garden Bridgewater and Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. We trialled use of playful learning techniques, including Lego – rarely used in environmental science – to inspire new audiences to develop personal connections with science through creativity and take personal action on climate resilience (related to COP). We draw on prior ad hoc Lego-based “design and build a climate resilient garden” activities at several events (e.g. Manchester Festival of Nature 2019, Bluedot Festival 2019) and Carbon Literacy (CL) training to Manchester City Council staff. We will now design a pack using playful learning techniques to extend impact from the My Back Yard (MBY) project (NE/N017374/1; NE/N017374/2) unanticipated in the original science application. MBY used citizen science and high resolution aerial imagery to reveal that private domestic gardens in Manchester are only 50% green space on average. We found citizens manage over one fifth of the city’s green space in their gardens, so citizen action is necessary to improve city climate resilience. We found that 95% pledges made by 1000 MBY citizen scientists translated into positive action (e.g. collect rainwater, plant a tree). In this project we pilot this scalable intervention, a playful learning strategy to empower people to explore within their communities, reflect and participate, with reach beyond the MBY project.

Funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through the programme Growing Roots: Public Engagement Open Funding Opportunity 2021/22.


November 2021 – March 2022

Project outputs will be uploaded soon – some images are shown in the gallery below.