Children from primary schools in Powys spent a day exploring the mysteries of their local woodlands as they celebrated Biodiversity Week.
Forestry Commission Wales’s Woodlands for Learning (WfL) team staged a variety of events to encourage school children and young people from all over Wales to get into their local woodlands.
Gregynog Hall in Powys hosted primary school visits where children learned about mammals and insects that live in ancient woods by following a toy mammal trail and taking part in an insect hunt.
There was even an opportunity to hug a tree as part of a literacy lesson where children stretched their vocabulary skills to try to describe what it felt like.
Woodlands support a greater diversity of plants and animals than any other habitat type – a mature oak tree can sustain as many as 284 different species of insect living on it, in it and under it!
FC Wales manages Welsh Government woodlands to provide habitats for a variety of wildlife such as butterflies, insects and bees, while areas where trees have been felled to provide timber for the forest industry can be excellent hunting grounds for rare birds such as nightjars.
WfL team leader Sue Williams said, “We are committed to developing an awareness of the biodiversity of our wonderful woodlands, ensuring that children and young people develop an understanding of environmental needs alongside our timber producing objectives.
“Our Biodiversity Week sessions enabled us to pass this message on to the next generation, so that they can gain an appreciation of this wonderfully diverse ecosystem.”
During their visit, the children learned many interesting and fun facts about the endless variety of plants and animals that rely on our woodlands to survive and thrive, including ancient forests and veteran trees.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email email@example.com