The official launch of the Learning about Forests programme to coincide with Tree Day 2016.

Learning about Forests (LEAF) Ireland will team up with the Tree Council of Ireland during Tree Day this October to officially launch the LEAF programme in Ireland.

The Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce is launching the LEAF programme to approximately 30 schools in County Limerick. Through interactive learning and field trips the programme reconnects the next generation with their environment, educating them to be more conscious of protecting it and instilling in students a sense of ownership of the natural world that surrounds them. There will be emphases on using Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park as a focal point for training and events in the region. The park, which is managed by Coillte, covers 313 hectares of mixed woodlands, park land and lakes which together provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of animals and plants.

The Learning about Forests programme will explore forests as a whole and look at topics such as biodiversity, water, climate change, products and community and actions students can undertake to help protect and enhance our forests. Rachel Geary, National Coordinator said ‘The team is looking forward to exploring how schools can engage with this exciting new programme in a meaningful and fun way’.

The Learning about Forests programme aims to see an increased level of awareness and knowledge about the key role forests play for sustainable life on our planet and to stimulate activities that will help students achieve an increased level of environmental maturity irrespective of age and previous knowledge.

The programme was originally piloted in 2013 with ten Biodiversity Green-Schools located in the South West of the country in Co. Kerry.

Coillte is a commercial company operating in forestry; its core purpose is to enrich lives locally, nationally and globally through the innovative and sustainable management of natural resources.

The Tree Council is an umbrella body for organisations involved in tree planting, management and conservation. The main role of the Tree Council is to promote the planting, care and enjoyment of trees.

Learning about Forests Ireland would like to thank Coillte and the Tree Council of Ireland for their support.