On Thursday 8th June, children from nine Gloucestershire schools came together for a day of ‘Fun in the Forest’ at Westonbirt Arboretum. Even the poor weather couldn’t dampen spirits as the children took part in a range of exciting activities learning about the natural environment and what they can do to protect it.
In the words of Tom Ingram, Year 5 pupil at Nailsworth Primary School, “It was so fun, I would do it again. I had an amazing time!”
Run by the Gloucestershire Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP), ‘Fun in the Forest’ offers opportunities for children from economically disadvantaged areas to interact with the natural world.
As Mark Stead, chair of the partnership explains, “It is so important that we provide children with opportunities to get out and experience the world around them. Far too many children today spend the majority of their time in front of mobile phone and TV screens. This is not good for their physical and mental health and it is only by experiencing nature first-hand that people come to love and care for it”.
The event was offered free to schools as a result of support from the Forestry Commission and funding secured through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme which distributes funding raised from the 5p carrier bag charge.
To find out more about the work of the Gloucestershire Environmental Education Partnership, visit www.geep.org.uk. GEEP is chaired by Severn Wye Energy Agency.