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Countryside debate

Countryside issues make regular appearances in the media.

The agriculture and food industry, habitat loss and destruction, the management of SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest - places designated by government as being important for wildlife or geology, and given legal protection), rights of way and fox hunting are hotly debated by those in both rural and urban areas.

Clearly, the countryside and what happens there is important to many people. We need to decide why it is important to us, before we can make decisions about how we are going to look after it.

Curriculum Links 

AEB Biology, Section 3.1 (the concept of an ecosystem)
OCR Modular Biology, Central Concepts in Biology Module 4802, Section 3 - energy and ecosystems)
NEAB Biology, Topic 1 (Processes of Life)


Student Sheet 1

Age range

16 - 18

The activity

This takes the form of a brief article outlining the main reasons why the countryside is considered by society to be valuable. Each section puts forward a different view about why the countryside could be considered important, but the issues are not discussed exhaustively: the article should stimulate a debate and get students thinking about these complex issues for themselves.

It could be used as a stimulus for small group discussions or a whole class debate about the countryside in general, you could discuss the different values highlighted in each section. It could also lead into an essay, concentrating on the syllabus requirements in this area.