A £10 million programme was launched today to make school grounds greener – and children in the most disadvantaged areas of the country will be first to benefit.
The government scheme, the Nature-Friendly Schools Programme, aims to help more communities to create school grounds that support learning about the natural world.
It is also set to support schools and pupil-referral units (PRUs) in disadvantaged areas in establishing nature programmes for their pupils.
Aimed at encouraging activities that support pupil’s health and wellbeing through contact with nature, the programme has been launched as part of the government’s 25-year environment plan.
'Putting nature in the lives of young people'
On a visit to the London Wetland Centre with primary school pupils today, Prime Minister Theresa May said that improving school grounds “did not have to be big, difficult or expensive".
“It could be planting a garden, growing a vegetable patch or setting up a bird feeder," she said.
“Whatever form it takes, it will be putting nature into the lives of young people, because everyone deserves to experience it first-hand.”
The plan also says that the national park authorities will double the number of pupils they work with on school visits, to 120,000.
The government wants to “make it easier” for schools and PRUs to take pupils on trips to natural spaces – such as city farms, local nature reserves and woodland – on a regular basis.