Connecting children with nature via Trees for Life
A ‘hardy annual’ that connects children with nature takes place next week.
Trees for Life is run by the Forestry, Amenity and Lands Directorate of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), in partnership with Department of Education, Children & Sport.
Pupils from primary schools Island-wide study trees in the classroom with the help of a fact-filled activity pack.
This includes information on what trees contribute to the environment, how they are planted, grow and are nurtured, species native to, and introduced to, the Isle of Man and threats to trees, such as diseases.
Pupils then excitedly gather at Conrhenny, Onchan, to add their trees to a children’s woodland started 11 years ago.
The original planting site is now full, with 5,000 trees planted since Trees for Life started, so DEFA has prepared a new, one-hectare, extension to use on 6th and 7th March.
The theme of Trees for Life this year will be plastic and its detrimental impact on the environment.
DEFA educates those who use forests and plantations for sport and leisure to bin plastic or take it home with them, rather than leave it to impact on the environment.
Trees planted this year will be supported by environmentally friendly ‘tree guards’, made from a combination of natural fibres and natural resins, which will break away and degrade as trees grow.
David Cretney MLC, DEFA Political Member in charge of Forestry, said: ‘With the threats facing our planet, connecting people with nature is a vital part of our work as a UNESCO Biosphere.
‘Trees for Life has, over the 11 years it has been running, introduced thousands of primary school pupils to the importance of trees to our ecosystem.
‘It gives pupils what is, for many, their first chance to plant a tree of their own and return to proudly watch it grow.’