Mini-forests planned for urban schools

The BBC is reporting that pupils at city schools in England will be planting mini-forests in their playgrounds under a government-backed scheme. 

Schools are being offered free packs of saplings by the Woodland Trust, partly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Overall, the trust and Defra hope that one million trees will be planted by 2020 with a focus on urban schools. 

The aim is to “bring an oasis of green” into school communities, said Woodland Trust chief executive Beccy Speight.

A pilot group of nearly 800 schools to enrol received their packs of one and two-year-old saplings last week, to plant by the end of the month, amounting to 35,000 trees. 

By 2020 government money will have paid for 400,000 trees, with the rest funded separately by corporate sponsors and other partners. 

Pupils at Griffin Primary School in Wandsworth, south London, will plant their trees on Monday, with help from environment secretary Elizabeth Truss who will be there to mark the start of the full scheme. 

Head teacher Chris Beazeley said in this urban area, many pupils would not have had the opportunity to visit parks or woods “or get up close to nature”. 

“By planting trees at school we can give them that experience and teach lessons in an engaging way,” he said…

More at: Mini-forests planned for urban schools


Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Is your school taking part of is it something you would like to get involved with?

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Categories: Policy, Primary and Secondary.


  1. SchoolsImprove

    RebelSpeducator They aren’t going private but moving to academy status where they manage their own budgets rather than via local government

  2. RebelSpeducator

    SchoolsImprove Does that give “private companies” more influence over education than local gov’t? It’s a growing problem in US schools

  3. RebelSpeducator SchoolsImprove Academies are technically ‘independent’ schools despite being state-funded.  This means they can outsource their running to for-profit education providers.   
    Some academy trusts are charitable arms of for-profit education providers: The Learning Schools Trust operates academies on
    behalf of for-profit Kunskapsskolan, The Collaborative Academies Trust is
    sponsored by EdisonLearning and GEMS Learning Trust is the non-profit arm of
    GEMS Education Solutions.When such
    organisations become involved in education, it isn’t altruism, but investment.
    Ex-Education Secretary Michael Gove, responsible for the push towards academization, said before the 2010 UK election that he would allow groups like Serco to run schools in England.
    This will, as you predict, give private companies and academy trusts (particularly multi-academy trusts) more influence over education that English local authorities whose influence over education is being taken away.
    The academies programme only operates in England, not the whole of the UK.  Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales do not have academies.  Responsibility for education is devolved to these three countries – the Education Secretary for England has no power there.

  4. TW

    RebelSpeducator  The government plans announced last week imply that local government will have almost all influence over education taken away from it.

  5. ruth88273737

    SchoolsImprove might you also teach them the skills and gain aspiration to be able to improve wildlife in their own spaces through trees?

  6. Ray

    SchoolsImprove RebelSpeducator Is this another example of accepting spin?  Maintained schools have had their own budgets since LMS was introduced some 20 years ago.

  7. thiskidsthinkin

    Janet2 RebelSpeducator SchoolsImprove Northern Ireland has it’s own numpty in charge though. Getting rid of selection at 11 I approve or. Allowing grammar schools to set their own agenda anyway I don’t. What NI needs to save the education authority a fortune is someone in charge with the guts to make state funded schools all integrated. That way we don’t have the crazy situation where there may be 2 schools in close proximity with empty seats that could easily become one school, but for the fact one is state and one is Catholic controlled maintained sector. Once the children reach 16-18, they get educated together anyway!

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