200 schools will help plant 60,000 trees within The Mersey Forest area across Merseyside and North Cheshire.
A major new schools tree planting campaign has been launched by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Mr Rotheram helped children and staff from Queens Park Primary School, St. Helens, to plant some of the 2,700 trees planned for the school's grounds.
'Trees for Learning' is a DEFRA funded initiative that will see The Mersey Forest – together with fellow Community Forests – working with around 1,000 schools to plant 164,000 trees across the UK. This winter, over 20,000 trees will be planted in The Mersey Forest area. The work is part of a government aim to support primary schools to plant 1 million trees across the UK by 2020.
Steve Rotheram commented:
I am delighted to be supporting this initiative which has such a positive educational and environmental impact. I am fully supportive of the Mersey Forrest vision and the need to plant more trees to help reach our target to become a Carbon Neutral City Region but also make us a more beautiful and bio-diverse place. It's also a great way to engage young people and help them understand the responsibilities we all have for the future of our planet.
Paul Nolan, Director, The Mersey Forest, said:
This is a fantastic way to kick off our tree planting season. We need to plant many more trees in our area – and where better to start than in our schools. The children involved will grow up together with the trees that they've planted, and that's a really powerful way to learn about nature.
Children will be given the opportunity to plant trees and watch them grow, and will take part in activities to learn more about trees and woodlands, linked to the national curriculum. The planting days will enable children living in urban areas to connect with nature in their local environment and learn about how trees link with other important issues like health and climate change, and creating settings for outdoor learning and Forest Schools.
Schools involved will be supported by The Mersey Forest Team who will advise on the best species of trees to plant and in which locations, as well as providing advice and guidance on looking after the growing trees.
The Queens Park Primary School tree planting scheme has also been supported by the I Dig Trees programme of tree planting which is a partnership between TCV and OVO Energy
. Last year, I Dig Trees enabled OVO and TCV to inspire and educate thousands of people about the benefits that planting trees would bring to their communities and communal green spaces... and planted a staggering 250,000 trees!