Every schoolchild will have the chance to visit National Parks

Every schoolchild will have the chance to visit National Parks

The Government has devised a new programme which ties National Parks closely to the curriculum.
Environment Secretary Liz Truss recently announced the plan which will see every schoolchild in England visit a National Park, after new figures reveal only 10 per cent of schoolchildren currently have access to outdoor learning.
Outdoor learning is an integral part of Eco-Schools and it has been worked into the many Eco-Schools resources such as lesson plans, fact sheets and projects. It’s the perfect way to encourage an appreciation of nature and understand the impact we have on our environment.

Through this plan the Government is hoping to inspire young people to love nature and build thriving communities in every National Park, allowing the parks to flourish and be enjoyed for generations to come.
Schoolchildren will be engaged with National Parks throughout their education, from primary school age right through to them taking their first steps towards employment. As part of the plan, more than 80,000 primary school children will visit National Parks, at secondary school level youth volunteering will double and apprenticeships in National Parks should double too.

We very much welcome the plans, but would like to emphasise the important and regular role our local green and outdoor spaces can play in children’s lives. Over half of the population may only be an hour away from a National Park, but some schools may find them difficult to travel to and of course travel costs are a factor that needs to be taken into account.

We shouldn’t forget about the great outdoors that might be a little closer to home, as we are surrounded by local parks and green spaces. These are accessible as an initial route into harnessing an appreciation of nature, and also a fantastic way for schoolchildren to feel part of their local community on a regular basis.

Maybe your Eco-Committee could organise a school trip to your local park or National Park as part of your Biodiversity, School Grounds or Healthy Living topics.