It can't have escaped your notice that 2009 was the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. As a great-great-great grandson of Charles Darwin Skandar presented Darwin's Treasure Chest to William Tyndale Primary School in Islington, London. The Great Plant Hunt is a project funded and devised by the Wellcome Trust and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to jump-start an interest in plant-based science by distributing a Treasure Chest to every maintained primary school in the UK.
On 11 March Skandar stood before the assembled school and read the first chapter of Following in Darwin's Footsteps. This is one of the booklets in the chest which also contains fun stickers, magnifiers, a plant identikit, a plant press and a mini seed bank. The children are invited to take part in a unique experiment which will help Kew's scientists at the Millenium Seed Bank. The project is supported by online resources.
Charles Darwin was only twenty-two years-old when he set out on his journey on HMS Beagle in 1831. The hope is that the Great Plant Hunt will inspire you too to set out on a life-altering path of caring for the natural world.
2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations - the year that celebrates the diversity of life on earth including every plant, animal and micro-organism. In early 2010 a special Biodiversity webpage will be launched with a new Thinking Walk activity. Make sure you check out the website and keep up with the latest news about the project at www.greatplanthunt.org