The story of rubbish and restoring nature

A project created by Wild Landfill

Download this lesson plan here

A Wild landfill restorative site

Learning objectives: 

By the end of this lesson;

All students will be able to state what a landfill site is and suggest one way to reduce household waste

Most students will be able to describe how reducing re-using and and recycling waste correctly can reduce the waste and state some benefits of habitat creation.

Some students will be able to evaluate landfill as a waste management system stating some alternatives

Checklist of learning: Pupils complete this checklist of terms at the start and end of the lesson to monitor learning and progress

Tell me what you know! Kahoot quiz

Background: Wild Landfill – Habitat creation in the post-industrial landscape

The legacy of industry and waste disposal is one of loss of nature and pollution of the natural environment. It has seen the degradation of land and soils and reduced biodiversity. Led by NRW in Partnership with Gwynedd and Ynys Mon County Councils, Wild Landfill is the Welsh Governments Challenge Fund wilding initiative restoring North Wales landfill sites into thriving, biodiverse, natural habitats. The project aims to begin the reversal of this trend incorporating all aspects of sustainable management of natural resources into its brief. Among the major themes of this project are to; increase biodiversity, provide water storage and flood protection, create wetlands, ponds, wildflower meadows and woodland.

Four brownfield waste landfill sites across Gwynydd and Ynys Mon will be regenerated into a mosaic of wildlife habitats which will not only be new homes for nature but will begin to store carbon. Initiatives include the  planting of more than 45,000 new trees and creating over 100 acres of new wildflower meadow.

Starter activity:

Matched pairs – Also acts as a list of key words with definitions

Hexagonal thinking – can be used with slide 7 of presentation. Get pupils tomake links and connections between the images on the hexagons

Presentation: watch the pre-recorded talk on YouTube which accompanies this lesson plan

Or use the presentation to deliver it yourself in class.


Sort the landfill: Which of these 20 items can we recycle? Run the activity as a paper based activity or bring in a pile of items and get the pupils to come up with ways of sorting them.

Eco-bingo: This activity can be used as a review exercise , to connect previous knowledge and understanding of environmental issues and to encourage a positive attitude towards the environment.

Creative writing activity. 

Idea 1: Imagine you are a plastic toy. Describe its journey (a timeline) from being made to its life in the shop to being given as a present then finally ending up in landfill.

Idea 2: Imagine you are an animal/tree that had its home destroyed when the landfill site was created. Describe what it was like before, the process of being removed/displaced. Where did it end up and what happened when it died.

Idea 3: Imagine you are a newly planted tree or an animal that now finds its home on the old landfill site. This is part of the rewilding programme where nature has returned but still lives on top of an old industrial site.

Idea 4: Describe the possible and probably futures of landfill sites

Pledge: Create a promise to put into action. Students to write these on a postcard and these will be kept and returned to them after 3 months They are designed to inspire, empower and reward young people. Share via social media or on our Flipgrid page. Click the link or scan the QR code



Plenary: Watch the story of stuff. This is a plenary activity where the pupils can reimagine


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