National Forest Partners Welbeck Children’s Books Celebrate Release of What Did the Tree See?

4th Mar 2021

We’re excited to announce that our partners Welbeck Children’s Books (Welbeck Publishing Group) have released a new picture book for children age 4+ called What Did The Tree See? by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Sam Usher.


What Did The Tree See?


Told in gentle rhyming verse, What Did the Tree See? follows the story of an oak tree on a hilltop as it witnesses life changing around it over the course of hundreds of years. From the time when hunters chased deer through the woodland, to when trees were cleared for farmland, to the smog and factories emerging during the Industrial Revolution. Accompanying pages at the end of the book include a timeline of events in world history across the periods featured in the poem, the life cycle of an oak tree, and prompts to help parents and children explore their local history.

Independent publisher Welbeck has distributed titles in over 30 languages, including What Did The Tree See? to 60 different countries around the world. Welbeck strives on creating beautiful books that are accessible to children of all ages and abilities and focus on stories that bring to life important and interesting topics.

The National Forest began a three-year partnership with Welbeck Publishing in 2020, centred around schools engagement, encouraging families and schools to get out into the Forest, or explore their local woodlands while sharing the book’s messages, such as finding out if there is a project to plant more trees where you live or watching trees grow through the changing seasons. Welbeck Children’s have also produced a teacher resource pack and supporting resources that can assist with learning across a range of subjects, including Geography, Biology and Literacy and outdoor learning.

Since we began planting trees in the 1990’s more than half a million children have enjoyed environmental education sessions in the Forest. Primary schools in the National Forest take part in regular outdoor learning in a woodland setting, which has increased from less than 20% in 2016 to more than 50% in 2020 thanks to our Creating a Forest for Learning programme. Our vision is that every schoolchild in the Forest has the chance to regularly spend some of their school day learning outdoors in a woodland setting. Whether it's maths, English or science; bug-hunting, den-building or fire-lighting; research shows that all learning in the outdoors can bring massive benefits to a child’s confidence, understanding and engagement.

For every copy of What Did The Tree See? sold, Welbeck Publishing will donate to us to support the National Forest’s woodland creation and management programmes to help us to grow the Forest and create more outdoor spaces for learning.

You can find out more about the book and purchase your copy here. The What Did the Tree See? teacher resource pack is available to download, and is a great tool to use for home learning across a range of themes including, The Life Cycle of a Tree, The Seasons, Local History and Looking after the Natural World.

What Did the Tree See? by Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Sam Usher (£12.99, Welbeck Children’s) is available now. Or why not enter our competition for a chance to win a copy? You can find more details on how to enter and full terms and conditions here.