Nature Map

Make a Nature Discovery Map

Make a Nature Discovery Map

Make a Nature Discovery Map

Make a Nature Discovery Map

Make a Nature Discovery Map
Make a Nature Discovery Map

Can You Make a Nature Map?

From wee parks to huge beaches, wild woods to neat gardens, nature is all around us. Making a nature discovery map encourages us to learn about these spaces in creative way – and be active outside at the same time.

Our map is of a small local woodland, but you can use the same method to represent any kind of natural area. We started by visiting the woods and recording our journey by making notes of where things were along the path, sketching and taking photographs. Back home, we used books from Aberdeenshire Libraries collections to identify the plants and trees by comparing the shapes of the leaves.

To make the map you will need:

  • Pencil
  • Black pen with a thin nib
  • Large piece of thick paper (for example the back of some wallpaper or artists' watercolour paper)
  • Coloured pencils and/or paints
  • Small paint brush and water

How to make your map:

Step 1 of our map making

Step 1

Use a pencil to sketch the shape of the path and the interesting things you found along the way. Then use coloured pencils to cover most of the space between the sketches. As our coloured pencils are water soluble, we used a wet paint brush to blend the greens together a little.

step 2 of our map making

Step 2

Next, draw in more detail on the plants and trees using your photos and library books for reference. Try and make the shapes, structures, and colours as accurate as you can. Do the leaves grow in pairs up the stalk? Do they droop down or stick out?

Step 3 of our map making

Step 3

Use the black pen for outlines, names of plants and some descriptions.

Our nature discovery map based on the Winnie the Pooh stories

Step 4

Finally, add in any other information you want to include to give a real sense of the natural environment. We included two close-up paintings of interesting leaves and the Latin names for some of the plants.

What next?

This map-making process is suitable for adults and children, but it was inspired by a map in ‘The House at Pooh Corner’ by AA Milne.

Carla gives us an insight into her map making process and how she has been inspired by one of her favorite childhood books.

We’d love to see your maps. Send us an email and show us what you have made:

Books with Maps

Live Life Aberdeenshire Libraries have books to inspire and educate anyone interested in the natural world. These are some of our favourites for this map making challenge:


  • What's that Tree? - DK books
  • Be and Eco Hero Outdoors - Susan Barraclough
  • How to Draw Anything - Mark Linley
  • The Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben
  • Tree Superstitions - Fairley Taylor
  • The Life Cycle of an Apple Tree - Over and over Again
  • The Great Kapok Tree: Instructional Guides for Literature - Lynne Cherry

Hard Copy Collections

  • The Usborne Woodland Book - Emily Bone
  • Plant and Flower Spotter's Guide - Dan Crowley
  • The Company of Trees - Thomas Pakenham

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