Biodiversity in Woodlands
Developing an interactive resource for schools
Outdoor learning has many benefits for children – from improved physical and mental health, to developing an appreciation and understanding of the world around us.
Earth Trust is blessed with a wealth of woodland related teaching resources – both natural through the woodland and trees we have on our doorstep, and man-made through our incredible Earth Lab teaching centre.
We work with school groups to spend time physically exploring the biodiversity of our trees and woodland, directly experiencing the wonders of nature, before coming back to Earth Lab to investigate more closely, work together and further explore the natural world.
But for many schools it can be challenging to deliver meaningful outdoor environmental experiences that have a direct link back to the national curriculum.
With funding from the DS Smith Charitable Foundation, Earth Trust has created content and interactive resources that enable schools and teachers to deliver an interactive day workshop on the biodiversity of woodlands.
In addition to supporting schools visiting Earth Trust farm, our goal was to develop resources for other schools and teachers to adapt and deliver near their own woodland spaces.
In close collaboration with DS Smith Charitable Foundation, and using the network of schools that we work with in our education programme, we identified the key subjects that would be of interest and adaptable for teaching needs, and that align with Earth Trust’s greenspace assets.
Our expert Tutor, Nick Carter, devised an interactive resource for schools that visit Earth Trust, but also can be used by others on their own sites. Aimed at Key Stage One or Two classes, the day long workshop enables children to:
- Learn what biodiversity is and its importance for plants, animals and humans
- Explore places with different levels of biodiversity and the reasons behind this
- Explore the biodiversity of woodland habitats, and begin to learn about this ecosystem by exploring some symbiotic relationships between plants and animals, food chains and food webs
- Start to understand the concept of extinction and the impact of climate change on woodland by exploring its possible effect on plants and animals.
The workshop is being trialled with schools in January 2023 and will then be launched to schools as part of our Education offer. The workshop will also be available as a resource for schools working with DS Smith at their own woodland sites.
We are very grateful to DS Smith for the funding to develop this invaluable resource and the impacts this will have on our part in educating hundreds more children about the importance of biodiversity and trees.