Funding boost to help children get outside and experience nature first hand

Thanks to a funding boost of £50,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, children across Leicester will be able to continue enjoying the great outdoors with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. Following the success of last year’s Wild Forest School project, the backing that the Trust has received means that it will be able to run a number of sessions for primary school children.

The Wild Forest School initiative, that was set up by the Trust in 2015, is designed to support schools and families in Leicester and give children the opportunity to explore the great outdoors, whilst discovering nature through a range of activities. This year, Marriott Primary School, Merrydale Junior School, St Patricks Catholic Primary School and Braunstone Community Primary School are just four schools that will benefit from the Wild Forest School sessions.

For pre-school children, the Trust will continue running three Wild Tots groups around Leicester, as well as a new group in partnership with Leicester City Council at Thurnby Lodge Children, Young People and Family Centre. Activities at these sessions include hunting for minibeasts, making things out of natural materials, identifying trees and other wildlife, taking part in treasure hunts, listening to stories and enjoying wildlife-themed games.

In addition to both the Forest School sessions and Wild Tots groups, the funding will be used to build an all-weather garden in one of Leicester city’s primary schools and produce a teacher’s pack designed to support and encourage teachers to take their lessons outdoors.  

Simon Bentley, director of the Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust said: “Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we can continue providing children from Leicester with the chance to connect with nature and give them the freedom to learn about the different types of wildlife that can be found in the city. Children today are spending half as much time outside than they were a generation ago, so it’s great to be able to support primary school and pre-school children with the opportunity to spend time with nature through a number of different activities.”

To find out more about Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s Wild Forest School project and the opportunities available, visit www.wildforestschool.org.uk.