Creating a Forest for Learning
Bringing young people and the Forest together.
The National Forest has been transforming lives, the landscape and the economy for the last quarter of a century. With our communities and partners, we’ve planted over 8.7 million trees throughout the Forest’s 200 square miles, and created more than 400 woodlands. Now, we’re bringing our young people and our young Forest together, with the vision that every child living in the National Forest has the opportunity to enjoy outdoor learning as part of their education. For this, we need your help.
We recently commissioned a YouGov survey to find out what UK parents think about their childrens' relationship with the outdoors, so that we can understand the impact outdoor learning can have. Surveying more than 4,333 people, of which 733 were parents of children aged 5 -18 years old, we wanted to share our findings with you.
Half a million children have experienced outdoor education in the National Forest so far.Investing in this makes children happier, improving their physical and mental health.
More than three quarters (78%) of all UK parents believe more should be done to ensure outdoor learning is part of the national curriculum
69% think the increasing use of technology is driving a disconnect to natureDespite 61% believing their children are happier after playing or learning outdoors.
What are we doing about it.
To help address these issues we've developed our Creating a Forest for Learning initiative. Which aims to give every schoolchild in the Forest 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. So far, we’ve doubled the number of schools taking their children outdoors.
Story: Woodstone Community Primary School.
Watch this video of a local school which, with the help of the National Forest, has developed its woodland on site and has incorporated outdoor learning into its curriculum. All the children have regular lessons outside, improving the learning experience and wellbeing of its pupils and staff.
What can you do to help.
We want the National Forest to be the first place in the country where every child can enjoy regular outdoor learning. For this, we need passionate people like you to help. By donating, you become part of the story. Supporting us to train teachers in outdoor learning skills, so that they have the confidence to lead their own sessions, and helping to provide schools with outdoor woodland classrooms in their own grounds. With your support, we can remove the barriers that prevent children from experiencing outdoor learning. So that things like cost, transport, risk and expertise no longer stop schools from making outdoor learning a regular part of their teaching.
Make a donation.
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I’m lucky enough to work at a school within the National Forest. The Children love being in the woodland. They love learning outside. It’s really important for them to get back in touch with nature. They spend a lot of time indoors nowadays and in front of screens and it’s great for them to have such a wide open space to explore in.
We do lots of different activities in the National Forest. I exercise regularly and go running on a weekly basis. We bike around the area and walk with family and friends. It’s definitely made us more active as a family, and we love to get outside in the fresh air.