Nature Friendly Schools

Nature Friendly Schools

Helena Dolby for Sheffield Wildlife Trust

A project to improve children’s wellbeing, learning and care for the environment

The Wildlife Trusts is leading a new and ground-breaking project – Nature Friendly Schools - to bring thousands of children closer to nature to benefit their learning, health and wellbeing. Teachers will receive training to link outdoor learning to the National Curriculum, students will visit local nature reserves or parks, and have the opportunity to experience wildlife on their doorstep through new nature areas in school grounds.  

Led by The Wildlife Trusts, this Department for Education funded four-year project partnership involves YoungMinds which leads the fight for children and young people’s mental health; Groundwork which transforms young people’s lives in the most disadvantaged communities; Sensory Trust, experts in ensuring children with special needs enjoy access to nature; and the Field Studies Council, which inspires environmental education through first-hand experiences on residential courses.

Nature Friendly Schools is about fueling creativity and a sense of adventure, allowing children to experience the joy that nature can bring. The project works to improve school grounds so that they’re more natural, with wildflower patches, sensory gardens and trails, container ponds and green spaces, so students can see nature close-up; from beautiful damselflies to minibeast hunts, even meeting a frog!

Supported by the Department for Environment, the Department for Education, Food & Rural Affairs and Natural England; this project aims to improve children’s wellbeing and mental health, their care and concern for the environment, and engagement with lessons. Research shows that being outdoors improves happiness, concentration and mental and physical health.

"Connecting children with nature is one of the most important things we can do for them. It can boost their health, wellbeing and learning and give them a life-long love of the natural world." - Lord Blencathra, Natural England’s Deputy Chair


Nature Friendly Schools will develop teacher’s confidence to embrace and drive outdoor learning through a share, learn, improve model of continuous professional development.

The Nature Friendly Schools network will grow exponentially as more schools engage with the project and allow for cross-organisational sharing of best practice, guidance, tips and support and provide a platform to monitor and track progression through tailored CPD sessions, webinars and e-learning.

Expression of Interest

Please fill in the form below to register an initial expression of interest in the Nature Friendly Schools Project. You will need the unique code provided in the letter of introduction.

The details provided will be used to book an introductory call with the Headteacher of your school to discuss the project in greater detail and the benefits this fantastic opportunity could bring to your teaching staff and pupils. Don't worry, your school is not committed to the project at this stage. 

Only a small percentage of schools nationally with the highest proportion pupil premium are being considered for the project. If your school meets this criteria but has not received a letter from us please email

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