Inquiry unit | Outdoor activities | Levels: 1-4: Use this resource to investigate plant pests (weeds) in your school grounds or another local green space.

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Investigating plant pests in your green space cover.

Investigating plant pests in your green space (PDF, 8,709K)


  1. Banana passionfruit (PDF, 445K)
  2. Buddleia (PDF, 525K)
  3. Climbing asparagus (PDF, 447K)
  4. Darwin's barberry (PDF, 477K)
  5. English ivy (PDF, 513K)
  6. Japanese honeysuckle (PDF, 501K)
  7. Moth plant (PDF, 451K)
  8. Old man's beard (PDF, 468K)
  9. Spartina (PDF, 287K)
  10. Wandering willie (PDF, 506K)
  11. Wild ginger (PDF, 525K)
  12. Wilding conifers (PDF, 504K)
  13. Woolly nightshade (PDF, 436K)


View 'wanted' posters of weeds threatening our native habitat:

Buddleia wanted poster

  1. Wilding conifers (PDF, 2,263K)
  2. Woolly nightshade (PDF, 3,985K)
  3. Buddleia (PDF, 3,881K)
  4. Wild ginger (PDF, 3,862K)
  5. English ivy (PDF, 3,939K)
  6. Wandering willie (PDF, 3,711K)
  7. Darwin’s barberry (PDF, 3,823K)
  8. Climbing asparagus (PDF, 3,902K)
  9. Old man’s beard (PDF, 3,792K)
  10. Moth plant (PDF, 3,524K)
  11. Banana passionfruit (PDF, 3,811K)
  12. Japanese honeysuckle (PDF, 3,658K)
  13. Spartina (PDF, 3,770K)

Learning outcomes

Students identifying weeds using factsheets.
Students identifying weeds

Using this resource students can:

  • gather and interpret data about plant pests (weeds) living in a local green space
  • identify and learn about introduced weeds and how they affect native plants and animals
  • begin to understand how weeds have an impact on the environment and wider ecosystem.

Curriculum links

Level 1-4 Science

  • Living World: Planet Earth and Beyond Level 1 and 2: Interacting systems: Describe how natural features are changed and resources affected by natural events and human actions.
  • Living World: Ecology Level 3 and 4: Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to changes, both natural and human-induced.
  • Nature of Science: Investigating in science, Communicating in science, Understanding about science, Participating and contributing.

Science capabilities

  • Gather and interpret data
  • Use evidence
  • Critique evidence
  • Interpret representations
  • Engage with science

English: Listening, Reading and Viewing

Learning sequence

  1. Getting to know plant pests in your green space - Students have outdoor experiences to spark their interest in weeds.
  2. Planning an investigation - Start or continue a learning inquiry about plant pests. Students reflect on knowledge and then ask questions about plant pests.
  3. Gathering and reflecting on data about weeds in your green space - Survey and identify weeds in your green space. Students add to their knowledge, reflect on predictions, and use and critique their evidence/data about pest plants.
  4. Finding out more about weeds and how they change an ecosystem- Students identify how weeds could change local ecosystems.
  5. Sharing knowledge and taking next steps- Students share their findings with the community and then take the next steps in exploring and enhancing their green spaces.

Learning levels

  • Primary
  • Secondary 


  • Forests and green spaces
  • Pests and threats

Curriculum learning areas

  • Science
  • Social science
  • Education for sustainability
  • English
  • Maths and statistics


We would love to get your feedback about our resources so they are useful to you and your students.


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