A pre-school near Sleaford has been recognised for its work inspiring children to love the natural world with a ‘gold’ award.
Busy Bees Early Years and Nature Centre has become a ‘Green Tree School’ - after winning a gold award from the Woodland Trust.
The Leasingham pre-school was awarded for its green activities, which have included tree-planting, visiting local woodland, celebrating creatures, reducing carbon emissions and recycling. They have even had a ‘party with a tree’ and visited their forest school site for 11.5 hours each week.
The school was presented with a special plaque yesterday (Tuesday) to mark their new status.
Claire Burgess and Claire Taylor from Busy Bees said: “Our children are aged between two and-a-half, and four years-old, and have been working away on the challenges set by the Woodland Trust to help us engage with and connect to nature. In the current environmental crisis we feel that these activities are helping us to build the next generation of countryside caretakers. In an agricultural county this is very relevant indeed. We use Forest School as part of our EYFS curriculum and our children become strong, resilient and school ready as part of our year round outdoor programme. We are so proud of everything they and their families have achieved over the last year.”
“We are currently looking for larger premises for our growing centre which we would like to be connected to/nearby to woodland if any of your readers would like to be part of our exciting community interest project into nature connection for children of all ages.”
The Green Tree Schools initiative, which was launched in 2008, offers the opportunity to bring the great outdoors, wildlife and green issues into the classroom.
Karen Letten, Woodland Trust schools and communities engagement manager, added: “The scheme promotes a range of opportunities, each designed to stimulate a child’s imagination and sustain their interest in woods and trees. The achievements of the school are recognised through an awards scheme in which they receive points for taking part in activities. As they reach milestones within the project they will receive bronze and silver certificates and then an attractive wooden plaque which acknowledges they’ve achieved the environmental accolade of a gold award. I hope Busy Bees will now consider going for our next accolade, the prestigious platinum award.”
The Woodland Trust’s vision is to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. The charity is dedicated to creating new woodland with help from communities and schools, and protecting and restoring ancient woodland for future generations to cherish.