Pupils take the classroom outdoors

13 December 2017

City of Trees and the Woodland Trust have been helping schools across Greater Manchester take the classroom outdoors engaging over 700 pupils, planting over 2,600 trees.

The fifteen schools, spread across Greater Manchester, successfully applied for a free ‘Trees for schools’ pack to help plant trees on their school grounds.

Over the past four weeks, the Woodland Trust and City of Trees have been working with the Primary schools to not only help plant the trees, creating new outdoor education areas, but also teach pupils about the importance of our trees and woods.

The small sapling trees include hawthorn, hazel, crab apple, rowan silver birch, wild cherry, elder, and blackthorn and have all been planted on school sites, not only creating new areas for the children, but also as they grow will act as a haven for wildlife.

Ben Iles-Smith, City of Trees comments: “For many of the pupils we worked with this is the first time they have ever planted a tree. For children who live in an urban environment this is especially important, as it gives them an early opportunity to establish that connection with nature which we are all hard-wired to need.

He adds; “By learning about the important of our trees, woods and wildlife, we hope it will inspire children to celebrate and protect the natural world – inspiring the next generation of ‘Citizen Foresters’.”

Alison Armstrong, Nursery Class Teacher and Forest School lead at Pike Fold Community School said; “The children had a great time learning about trees and taking part in a new experience”

Kat Price, Deputy Head at Rushbrook Primary comments; “We have a number of pupils who have significant behavioural difficulties, special needs and disabilities. We were really pleased that everyone was able to join in”.

A recent large scale Natural Connections study found children who experienced outdoor learning were more engaged, happier and healthier.

Trees for Schools is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered in partnership with the Woodland Trust and City of Trees.

In Greater Manchester around 60,000 trees will be planted with more than 350 primary schools as part of the DEFRA backed ‘Trees for Learning’ project to plant 1million trees with primary schools across the UK by 2020.

Schools can apply for DEFRA funded tree packs by visiting the Woodland Trust website or searching online for ‘free trees’.

If you are interested in support for planting the trees as well as opportunities for pupils to learn about trees as part of the national curriculum – get in touch. Email Beth Kelsall; beth@cityoftrees.org.uk or call 0161 872 1660.