This project, delivered by the Green Light Trust, aimed to increase opportunities for outdoor learning by bringing some of Brecks’ habitats into the grounds of schools within the project area. 5 tree nurseries, 5 areas of Brecks heath acid grassland, 5 butterfly & bee gardens and 2 ‘pingo-style’ ponds were be set up within school grounds to provide natural resources, encouraging wildlife for pupils to learn from. Pupils went outside the school grounds and collected seeds from local woodlands, learning where they come from and how the different trees across the Brecks have come to be. Emphasis was put on the propagation of Scots Pine trees so that links could be drawn to pine lines, in advance of the pine lines being planted in the school grounds.
The distinctive character of the Brecks landscape was also celebrated in artist-led ‘tree-dressing’ workshops at the schools, as well as with local communities at events like Enchanted Forest, Forest Fest and Brecks Fest. There were also tree seed propagation ‘twilight’ workshop for teachers, who learnt about outdoor education techniques and incorporating Brecks-specific examples into National Curriculum teaching. As part of the in-kind contributions to the project, the Green Light Trust trained 6 individuals to Forest Schools Levels 2 and 3, giving recognised outdoor education qualifications to education professionals in the Brecks. There was a significant volunteer input into the project, especially from parents of pupils who helped to build pond dipping platforms at the newly refurbished ‘pingo-style’ ponds.
Feedback from the schools about these new areas that have been created has been immensely positive and not something what would have been done without this project.
Mia Witham, Green LIght Trust