[Press & Publications] Seed of Good Idea Sends Out Roots

June 2000

No 129


A schools project at the University of Leicester has been held up as a model of good practice for schools across the UK - and has attracted interest as far afield as India.

The educational programme at the University’s Botanic Garden has devised a game that requires schoolchildren to pretend they are in an imaginary country -Botanica - in which they must make important decisions about the life of the country and its natural resources.

Now, Mohammed Abdul Kareem, Programme Officer at the Foundation for the Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Kerala, southern India, will be visiting the University of Leicester Botanic Garden.

On his brief visit he will be giving two talks which are open to all:

  • “Conservation of medicinal plants in India” on Tuesday 4 July, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, University of Leicester campus, NEW BUILDING Lecture Theatre 3
  • “Community involvement in the use and conservation of medicinal plants”, Thursday 6 July, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, Belgrave Library, Cossington St Leicester.
  • Director of the Botanic Garden, Dr Richard Gornall, said: “In June 1999, the University of Leicester Botanic Garden’s education programme, SEED (Support for Education in Environment and Development), ran a simulation game with Folville Junior School and Fullhurst Community College. “Based at the Botanic Garden it involved the youngsters in becoming citizens of a developing country called Botanica for a day and making important decisions, for example, whether or not it should bid to host the World Cup in 2010.

    “SEED took the idea to an international conference in southern India in November and, as a result, Mr Kareem is coming to Leicester in July to observe the simulation which he plans to use in his own work, which involves the establishment of an ethno-medicinal forest and conservation education.

    “The development of this game also coincides with the introduction by the British government of Citizenship as a statutory subject in the National Curriculum. The game, which is called “Botanica”, appears as an example of good practice in a Government document, ‘Citizenship at key stages 3 and 4 - Initial guidelines for schools,’ which has gone into every secondary school in the country.

    “This is an exciting two-way learning process and Kareem’s visit will add greatly to this year’s event for the children here.”

    Note to newsdesk: For further details: contact the SEED office, 0116 271 2933 or Dr Richard Gornall, Director of the Botanic Garden, email: rjg@leicester.ac.uk, phone: +44(0)116 252 3394.

    PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: You can photograph/film/interview Mr Kareem before or after his talk on 4th July at the University, New Building LT3, 7.30pm.


    At the University of Leicester Harold Martin Botanic Garden at 11am, 6 July.

    Please park at GLEBE ROAD, and report to the SEED store near the main glasshouses. You will also have an opportunity to film/photograph the game in operation.

    [Leicester University] [*] Administration [*] Press & Publications
    Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
    Last updated: 27 June 2000 13:58
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