Schools are being offered the chance to green-up their grounds and make outdoor learning fun with free trees.
Over a quarter of a million trees are up for grabs from the Woodland Trust, and schools can now apply for saplings which will be delivered ready to plant in March next year.
Planting trees is a great way for youngsters to connect with nature and has key educational benefits too. Pupils can plant native trees like rowan or crab apple for a copse or hedge, and grow a wild harvest, or a burst of year round colour.
The Woodland Trust’s Schools and Community Engagement Manager, Karen Letten, said: “We want to see trees becoming part of a teacher’s toolkit. And we’d particularly encourage schools in urban areas and schools which haven’t planted before to apply.”
If space within grounds is in short supply, for eligible schools there’s help available to find land to plant trees in local communities.
Funding for the Woodland Trust trees comes from Sainsbury’s, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Yorkshire Tea. And Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) is supporting additional tree packs for state-funded primary schools in England.
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “It is so important children are given the opportunity to explore the great outdoors, whether that is in the countryside, in their local community or even at school.
“By working with the Woodland Trust to give free trees to schools we will help bring back nature into the daily lives of millions of children across England.”
Trees create inspiring learning spaces, natural, sustainable, and dynamic outdoor classrooms; and on-line curriculum-linked resources for teachers are on offer from the Trust to support lesson plans.
Defra is supporting the Woodland Trust to deliver 400,000 free trees over four years to English state-funded primary schools.
Over the same period Sainsbury’s, players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Yorkshire Tea are funding 1.8 million trees free to schools and education institutions in the UK as part of their ongoing partnerships with the Woodland Trust.
What’s in the Woodland Trust tree packs?
· For small copse: wild cherry, birch ,rowan
· For a small hedge: hawthorn, hazel, crab apple, dog rose and dogwood
Schools can apply by visiting the Woodland Trust website or searching for ‘school tree packs’ online. www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees