RFS Teaching Trees is branching out with the appointment of Dan Bean to connect schools and schoolchildren with local woodlands across Chester and North Wales.
Dan is a qualified teacher, forest school leader and experienced outdoor educator and will be joining a team of eight education officers across England who between them deliver more than 300 sessions to nearly 10,000 children in an average year.
Dan says: “I believe passionately that children should all be given opportunities to learn and enjoy time in the outdoors. This in turn will allow them to cherish it through better understanding, not only of our wonderful environment but also of themselves and each other.
“Our woodland is an outstanding classroom, habitat, playground and a source of wonderful resources upon which we so heavily rely.”
Teaching Trees has been connecting schools with local woodlands across England and Wales for more than 20 years.
Teaching Trees programme officer Becky Wilkinson: “The new post has been made possible by generous donations from our members and by funding from the Westminster Foundation and the RFS North Wales Division. We would also like to thank Flintshire County Council, the Eaton Estate and other RFS members who allow us to teach classes of children in their well-managed woodlands.”
“The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for us all. COVID has brought with it huge challenges for the physical and mental health of our children and disrupted their normal ways of learning. Outdoor learning can play a small but significant part in the recovery as we know that being in a natural environment is good for our health and can help children to engage with learning. This funding means that Dan will be able to start supporting schools with regular outdoor learning sessions just at the time they need it the most.”
Dan has worked in primary schools, secondary schools, further and higher education settings, pupil referral units and outdoor centres designing and delivering programmes for outdoor learning.