A new lesson plan to educate children on the local and global importance of trees has been launched at Bovington Primary School, as part of a Tree Power schools programme provided by the International Tree Foundation (ITF).

Pupils from Bovington Primary School are learning all about the vital role of trees, and are getting involved in tree planting, conservation and education activities in their local area.

The pilot Tree Power sessions kick-started earlier this month with 10 pupils from year three and four venturing into their local woods to discover their local trees, learn about different species and interact with nature.

Pupils from across the school will then join in with the full programme from January 2018.

The ultimate aim of ITF’s Tree Power programme is to change behaviours in order to reduce the rate of deforestation and improve the environment and lives of those who depend directly or indirectly on forests and trees.

Natural and organic food company Wessanen UK, are fully funding the project. Tree Power is also being introduced to other schools in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey with Wessanen UK’s support.

Sarah Wise from DEED, who is facilitating ITF with implementing the programme, comments:

“What makes Tree Power distinctive is that it brings together the two educational strands of development education (global learning) and outdoor education. It takes pupils out of the classroom so they can interact with the trees and woodland while also telling them real life stories from the communities whose livelihoods rely on trees.

“Nothing like this is being taught to children currently. It presents a unique chance for children, and in turn their teachers and parents, to grasp how natural resources support life on Earth. There is no learning more valuable than this.”

Rebecca Vercoe from Wessanen UK, adds:

“We are delighted to be the sole supporters to this fantastic programme – especially in a community that means so much to us. By teaching a new generation about trees we can create a better future for people and planet; something we are committed to as a business.”

As part of the school’s dedication to the environment and outdoor education, on Saturday 18th November, it hosted a dedicated tree planting event for parents and pupils with the aim of adding over 300 new trees to the landscape. Refreshments and raffle prizes were provided by Wessanen UK.

Tree Power falls as part of ITF’s Centenary Campaign which aims to plant 20 million trees in and around Kenya’s highland forests by 2024, for which Wessanen UK was the first corporate sponsor.

Wessanen UK has helped the International Tree Foundation (ITF) to plant over 50,000 trees during its first year as a corporate partner.

ITF has promoted and funded sustainable community forestry projects in the UK and internationally for 90 years and has been responsible for the establishment of hundreds of millions of trees.