Trees for Cities led “Growing among Trees”, a consortium project as part of the Children in Nature programme funded by the Department for Education (DfE). Partnering with Sensory Trust, Nature Nurture CIC, The Garden Classroom and Green Schools Project, Trees for Cities piloted the programme with nine schools in Islington and Reading from September 2019 to August 2020. Dr William Bird and his team at Intelligent Health provided consultancy support.
The purpose of this project was to create a model for efficient, effective, transformational change in urban schools, which gives pupils the opportunity for everyday connection with trees and woods. We offered a range of independently evaluated woodland activities aiming to demonstrate the effectiveness in strengthening connections with nature, improving mental health and wellbeing among schoolchildren as a result. Despite the project being cut short due to Covid-19, we were still able to collect a wealth of evidence of how to deepen and embed nature connections in urban schools.
I now feel confident to lead outdoor learning sessions with groups of young people. My new understanding of nature connection theories and ideas has equipped me to deliver a much broader range of outdoor learning opportunities.
Secondary school teacher
In May 2021, we finalised a report that highlights our findings on enriching urban childhoods through nature-based learning.
The key findings revolved around how to improve confidence among teachers, how to deliver a hyper-local approach, what time and resources were needed, as well as what processes maximised the benefits of nature-based outdoor learning interventions.
Have a read below!