Natural England has awarded five grants for the delivery of Community Forest and Woodland Outreach (CFWO) Projects 2019-2023, as part of the £10 million Children and Nature Programme, funded by the Department for Education, to help more children and young people from communities experiencing disadvantage to benefit from nature.
Following a huge response, the £900k grant has been awarded to the following projects:
- Trees for Cities working with 10 schools in Islington and Reading in partnership with the Sensory Trust, Nature Nurture Community Interest Company, The Garden Classroom, Green Schools Project and Intelligent Health. The Greater London Authority and Forestry Commission will be providing strategic support
- National Forest Company in partnership with Leicester City Football Community Trust and The Forest School Association, working with about 30 schools in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire
- The Community Forest Trust on behalf of the Mersey Forest Partnership, working with about 30 schools in Merseyside and North Cheshire
- Get Out More Community Interest Company working with about 25 schools in Bradford
- The Conservation Volunteers working in partnership with The Land Trust in 12 schools in Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley.
The aim of the CFWO project is to increase, and test how to sustain, community forest and woodland outreach activities being delivered to school children, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, and to support delivery of the priority outcomes of the Children and Nature Programme: children’s mental health and wellbeing, engagement with school, school attendance, pupil behaviour, physical health and care and concern for the environment.
The five projects provide the opportunity to test a number of different delivery models in different contexts and at different scales (from targeting individual groups of students to whole school and delivery in different school and institution types Primary, Secondary, Special Education Needs and Alternative Provision Institutions such as Pupil Referral Units).
Marian Spain, Natural England’s Chief Executive said: 'It is so exciting to be supporting such a wide range of innovative partnerships in this, the third grant scheme of the Children and Nature Programme. We know more and more about how important is for children and adults to connect with nature, and forests and woodlands are a wonderful place to do this, particularly in and around our towns and cities. I really look forward to seeing the results of these projects and sharing what we learn across the country'.
Image courtesy of Grace Dieu Manor School