BBC News reports details the Nature Friendly School scheme which aims to make schools grounds greener and wilder and is a partnership between The Wildlife Trusts, YoungMinds and other organisations.
The project trains teachers to deliver outdoor classes, inspiring their pupils to learn more about environmental challenges and the natural world, and encouraging teamwork, social skills, confidence and creativity.
Nature Friendly Schools has already worked with 90 schools in areas with high levels of social deprivation, giving thousands of pupils the opportunity to learn and play in nature. The leaders hope to expand the programme this year to help children find solace in nature after the hardships of lockdowns.
The Daily Telegraph and Sky report Prince of Wales urges bored children to pull on their wellies and engage with the natural world on their doorsteps.
“It’s at this time of year that all sorts of wonderful things start happening as nature wakes up the world from its winter sleep,” he said in a video message recorded at Highgrove last week. “What I love to see is how each of these things depends on everything else happening – how the millions of tiny organisms in the soil make it possible for the flower to grow; how the trees become home to lots of insects and give shelter to birds as they build their nests. “But you wouldn’t believe it, the way everything works together goes even deeper. You can see this if you look really closely at the patterns of things.”
Acknowledging the frustrations of being stuck indoors for months on end during the pandemic, the Prince, a lifelong advocate of the natural world, urged children to take a really close look at nature as it slowly changes, to note how “the same patterns occur over and over again”.
The BBC reports every schoolchild in England should get the opportunity to “spend a night under the stars” in an idyllic landscape, an independent review has suggested. Helping pupils connect with nature through visits would ensure protected areas such as national parks are “open to everyone”, the review’s author said.
The Telegraph reports the Duchess of Cambridge has urged families to escape the on-screen visuals of Instagram to make time to “sit and feel” the natural world. The Duchess, who showed a group of schoolchildren around her Chelsea Flower Show “Back to Nature” garden, said she considered it ” really important the kids start to understand nature, and care for it, so they can protect it as well”.
She had brought her own three children along to the garden to show them the moss, pine cones and sticks they had collected from the Norfolk countryside to help her, letting them play on a rope swing and paddle in the stream.