Lottery funding helps involve schoolchildren in native woodland restoration

Conservation charity Trees for Life is helping schoolchildren in the Scottish Highlands learn about native woodlands and rewilding through a new project that combines tree planting with storytelling, folklore, history, geography, poetry and song.

Pupils from Invergarry Primary School with singer and harpist Claire Hewitt - image: Trees for Life
Pupils from Invergarry Primary School with singer and harpist Claire Hewitt - image: Trees for Life

Around 300 pupils are taking part in the Rewilding the Highlands project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Trees for Life founder Alan Watson Featherstone said: "This is an exciting collaboration in which teachers and pupils are working together to discover more about our precious native woodlands and the importance of restoring Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest."

Specially commissioned teaching resources including stories, songs and puppets are bringing the project alive for pupils, who also learn about past relationships between people and trees, Gaelic place-names, and the craft of the storyteller or seanachaidh.

Participating schools have visited Trees for Life’s acclaimed Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston to find out more about conservation and to help in the charity’s tree nursery.

Plans for the schools also include community celebrations of the project, and walks in community woodlands with pupils who are to be trained as nature guides.

The charity planted its millionth tree in 2012 and aims to double the figure by 2018.


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