As leaves begin to take on their autumn colours and trees prepare for winter, children are being inspired to care for local woodlands, thanks to the Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) unique Teaching Trees project.
This year more than 3000 children from primary schools in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland, Co Durham, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will have been involved in RFS Teaching Trees visits to learn how good woodland management benefits timber industries, the environment and their local community.
And many are donning their coats and wellies as they head out this term! Teaching Trees plans to expand into new parts of the country in 2015, including the Midlands, with the support of RFS members who have made donations or opened up their woodlands to the project.
Rachel Simmons, RFS Teaching Trees project coordinator, said: “Our education officers work alongside local teachers to teach children about local woodland heritage. We match schools with sites owned by local RFS members who have been creating sustainable woodlands, sometimes for generations, and tap into their knowledge and experience to develop truly memorable activities for the children. We also give teachers advice and resources so that they can do more woodland activities with their pupils following their visit.
“Many of the schools we have worked with serve isolated areas, where opportunities and funding for activities such as Teaching Trees are limited, so we are very grateful to everyone who has supported us.”
There has been plenty of positive feedback. Pam Sellar, teacher, Egton Primary School said: “Teaching Trees has made a much bigger impact on the children than I could ever have envisaged. It has made them think very carefully about trees and the influence they have on their own lives.”
RFS Teaching Trees is funded by individuals and charitable trusts, together with regional grants. The project is currently fundraising to increase the numbers of visits it can offer. To donate or get involved go to www.rfs.org.uk and the TeachingTrees pages or email firstname.lastname@example.org .