School grounds are valuable, but often under-used resources. Research has shown that many children have little contact with nature, even in rural areas. There is also widespread recognition of the importance of outdoor learning and contact with nature to the mental and physical well-being of young people. The school grounds offer one of the best opportunities to address this ‘nature deficit disorder’ in a safe, accessible setting.
The Green Light Trust will work with schools within the BNG area, to bring some of the features of the Brecks into their grounds. This will not only create opportunities for outdoor learning, but will also increase the biodiversity of the school grounds.
Five tree nurseries, 5 areas of Brecks heath/acid grassland (using the soil inversion technique), 2 ‘pingo’-style ponds and 5 butterfly & bee gardens will be set up within school grounds. Students will collect seeds from local woodlands, grow tree seedlings and share the young seedlings with other schools within their cluster and with local community tree-planting projects. Emphasis will be on the propagation of Scots Pine trees so that they can be used to restore Pine Lines along field boundaries as part of the Pine Line Project.
The distinctive character of the Brecks landscape will be celebrated in artist-led ‘tree-dressing’ workshops with pupils and the local community. In addition, there will a tree seed propagation ‘twilight’ workshop for teachers.