MISSION & HISTORY.
At BEES, we are offering the first ever training programme in the UK to become a certified nature guide. The course programme consists of both indoor and outdoor practical sessions covering topics in Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and Human Sciences. It is based on a successful model that has run since 1975 in Belgium by the Cercles des Naturalistes de Belgique (CNB). Anneloes Martinsen and David Cammaerts, two of our trustees, met and became good friends whilst following the CNB's nature guide training course in Belgium in 2009. They maintained a long-held ambition to start a charity together, but it was not until 2019, when Anneloes met with Jasmine Canham at Lackford Lakes in Suffolk whilst volunteering at the Wildlife Trust, that the idea for the Biodiversity and Environmental Education Society was formed. It took only one step for the three of them, all passionate about nature and thrilled by the upcoming adventure, to agree on creating a network of certified nature guides in the UK in a similar way as the CNB. With dedication, Anneloes got in touch with Léon Woué, the chair of the CNB, and after a fruitful and enthusiastic discussion, a partnership between us was created.
One meeting after the other, Anneloes developed a network of contacts, all experts in their field, several of whom are now on board and signed up as tutors to deliver the courses. In January 2020, Anneloes and Jasmine met with two members of the British Naturalists' Association (BNA) board of trustees, Steven Rutherford, chair, and Roy Stewart, trustee. They shared our vision and a strong partnership was forged between us.
Altogether, our mission is to educate the public about all aspects of nature, to raise nature awareness and environmental issues, and to give them tools to better protect our natural heritage. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela. By training the public to become ambassadors for nature and Biodiversity and Environmental Educators (BEEs), we are one step forward to contributing to protect nature for now and future generations.
Non-profit association created in 1957 by Léon Woué bringing together young people and adults interested in the study of nature, its conservation, environmental protection and integrated tourism.
Recognised as a lifelong education organisation, Les Cercles des Naturalistes de Belgique (CNB) develops eco-citizenship by promoting wonder, knowledge and understanding of the ecosystems to which we are intimately linked, both as individuals and as human societies.
The CNB organises numerous activities, discovery, training, management, etc. open to all. Thousands of members participate and get involved in more than 60 sections to constantly renew this lifelong education movement.
The BNA is the national body for naturalists, founded in 1905, we operate a wide range of activities together for fellow enthusiasts of all ages. With the help of our experts, you will be able to learn more about our native flora and fauna and develop an in-depth understanding of how our natural world develops and changes increasingly important in view of the changes in our climate. At national level, the BNA organises lectures and exhibitions, publishes ‘Country-Side’ and ‘British Naturalist’. The BNA hold bi-annual Conferences and Field Trips at a different location each year.
The Association encourages its members to share their knowledge and, through its Grade Recognition scheme, bestows recognition on naturalists of different levels of skill and expertise.
The Grade levels are HonFBNA (Honoris Causa – those who are internationally recognised as having made an outstanding contribution to our understanding of natural history), FBNA – Fellow, MBNA – Registered Member and ABNA Registered Associate Member. All members of BNA have the opportunity to acquire the necessary field skills to achieve Grade Recognition and demonstrate to others their commitment in furthering the study of natural history.