The Environment Secretary Planted A Cherry Tree To Mark The Launch Of The School Tree Planting Project

If you’ve got a bit of time to kill over the Christmas holidays, apply for the school tree planting project, created by the Woodland Trust and the government.

The nation-wide scheme has been developed as part of the government’s manifesto commitment to plant 11 million trees throughout the course of the next parliament.

It will allow up to 7,000 state-funded Primary schools in England to receive native trees to plant in either their own school grounds or their local parks or open spaces.

The initiative has been designed to both help the natural environment and to link in with the new National Curriculum specifications that require children to be able to identify iconic native trees like oak, cherry and silver birch.

Children from participating schools will have the opportunity to learn about different types of trees before they plant the saplings at their location of choice.

Plus, as the trees grow, classes will have the opportunity to monitor and record their growth for subjects such as Maths and Science.

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said, “From the oak to the mountain ash, our fantastic native trees are crucial to our growing economy and a healthy, natural environment.

“Already we have more tree cover in the UK than at any time since the 14th century, but it’s vital that young school children feel a part of this natural history and connected to the environment.

“This is a great opportunity to get them involved and I want to see as many schools as possible take up this offer so pupils can enjoy the experience of growing a tree and creating green spaces.”

Lending his support to the scheme, schools minister Nick Gibb added:

“As part of our plan to extend opportunity to all young people, we want children to leave school with a wider knowledge of the world around them – as well as strong academic qualifications.

“The new Primary curriculum requires children to be taught to identify a wide variety of plants and trees in their first years of school. Defra’s tree planting initiative will provide schools with real life examples of a number of species of tree and how they are planted and grown.”

The Woodland Trust is welcoming applications from 7,000 state-funded Primary schools until 8th January 2016. You can apply for a tree pack on its website.