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Tree Wardens

One hundred thousand school trees planted in three years

The Tree Council

March 20, 2023

Force for Nature

Young people across the UK have sown the seeds for future generations by planting more than one hundred thousand trees and hedgerow whips in their schools, as part of The Tree Council’s Orchards for Schools and Young Tree Champions programmes.

The carbon storing, wildlife enhancing trees and whips planted in some of the nation’s most nature-deprived schools include native fruiting trees and hedgerows, providing a future abundance of apples, cherries, pears, plums and blackberries. Species such as Field maples, beeches, dog wood, hornbeam were used to create woodland classrooms, and bring pupils and learning closer to nature.

Orchards for Schools

For three years, The Tree Council’s dedicated schools’ programmes – Orchards for Schools and Young Tree Champions – worked with thousands of young people in schools across the UK to establish new orchards, hedgerows, and woodland areas, creating healthier school grounds and inspiring deeper connections between young people and the natural environment.

Sara Fennell, from Brentry Primary School in Bristol – a member of the Young Tree Champions Programme – said:

Our children had a tough time during the pandemic and we thought that connecting with nature would help them with their well-being and recovery.

“Our activities ranged from the children running assemblies on environmental issues, to planting trees, setting up camera traps, taking part in a national Speaking up for Nature competition (and winning!), growing some of our own food and even walking with gorillas at break time using a VR headset.

“We had a team of Young Tree Champions who helped to run activities, but it was a whole school effort.”

Schools that work with The Tree Council don’t only receive trees. The package of support, designed to instil confidence and inspire awe among pupils and teachers, also includes CPD training for staff, exciting technology packs and workshops with our young ambassadors.

Combined with planting and care activities and our unique connect, learn, care and share framework, Tree Council trees are very special – helping young people build confidence in their knowledge, find the power to speak up and blossom into champions for the natural world.

Nestled under the boughs of The Tree Council’s overarching call to action for young people and schools to become a force for nature and to speak up for trees and the natural world, The Tree Council’s education programmes are designed to address key challenges faced by schools and young people today, including rising eco-anxiety, as well as inspiring them to feel connected to nature.

Young Tree Champion Ambassador, Muhammed Amin, said: “I have a newly found gratitude for the natural world.

“The way I appreciate nature has changed. I can now appreciate nature through poetry, writing and art.”

Most school tree planting takes place between November and March, as planting dormant trees in winter gives them the best chance to thrive. This 2022-23 planting season, schools planted a tree-mendous 34,490 trees and hedgerow whips.


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