Council of All Beings is a new curriculum-linked environmental arts project to explore, celebrate and promote the diversity of wildlife within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund. This artist-led project encourages experiential outdoor learning and research activities for KS2 children, providing free online resources for schools as well as guided outdoor visits for 8 schools in summer / autumn terms of 2021.

The activities focus on 8 wildlife groups which can be widely found in the Dorset AONB. Through outdoor exploration as well as in class research,  children will find out about the amazing wildlife close to the school gate. The children will then be encouraged to use creative writing to express their learning, to become champions and advocates for their organisms, a voice. By the end of the activities, children will be able to creatively relay what makes their wildlife special and what it needs to survive and thrive in the future.

Get involved, join in the story!

Once upon a time in Dorset, not so long ago, there was a great gathering of all beings – all the different types of plants and animals were invited, all the forms of wildlife that live in the land and the sea were included. They came together for a council, a co-operative meeting, to name their names, share their life experiences and celebrate their special places in the wild world. And children were invited too, on behalf of the humans, to listen and learn and to make sure the gifts of words and wisdom from the Council of All Beings were shared far and wide…

Each group of ‘beings’ needs your help to be heard:

          Who will stand up for the Trees?

          Who will sing for the Birds?

          Who will speak for the Sea Creatures?

          Who will magnify the Minibeasts?

          Who will foster the Flowers?

          Who will represent the Reptiles?

          Who will befriend the Butterflies?

          Who will campaign for the Mammals?

Coming soon : see and hear storyteller Martin Maudsley telling stories about these creatures and the places they live:

  • Short animated film about Minibeasts
  • Short animated film about Birds and Farmland 

Why is it called 'Council of All Beings?

This project was created pre-Covid and all the activities were planned to prepare for a ‘Council’ at which the children could express their hopes, fears and opinions for the future of their local and global environment.

We had hoped to hold a ‘Council of All Beings’ with each of the participating schools coming together for a facilitated discussion/debate about the importance, issues and dreams for the future the different wildlife groups and including the roles of humans.

We still love the idea of a ‘Council’ as the end point to activities – it may be that you can hold one in class and we would be very happy to support you in shaping and facilitating this. Do get in touch if you would like some help!

Meet our Council of All Being hosts – storyteller Martin Maudsley and teacher / artist Rowan Beecham  – we love working with them and you can find out more about them here

60 years in the making

Council of All Beings is part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 60th anniversary activities to celebrate and protect the places we love and find new ways to create connections within the living landscape in years to come.

Get in touch

If you would like to get involved in the Council of All Beings or would like to know more, please contact Sue Dampney, Dorset AONB Culture, Community & Learning: / 01305 228242