Prime minister launches scheme to make schools eco-friendly


Prime Minister Theresa May has launched a scheme which aims to make school grounds greener so more children engage with the environment.

The £10 million scheme – called the Nature-Friendly Schools Programme – will see students, initially in the most disadvantaged areas of the country, learn more about the natural world.

Funding will be used by the Department for Education’s budget and will be spent over the course of the next five years.

Both schools and pupil referral units in disadvantaged areas are set to receive additional support so they can set up nature programmes for their pupils.

The new scheme is part of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan that hopes to encourage activities that support pupil’s health and wellbeing through contact with nature.

Mrs May visited the London Wetland Centre with a number of primary school pupils earlier this week and revealed that improving school grounds did not have to be costly.

“It could be planting a garden, growing a vegetable patch or setting up a bird feeder," she said.“Whatever form it takes, it will be putting nature into the lives of young people, because everyone deserves to experience it first-hand.”

The scheme also outlines plans for the national park authorities to double the number of students they work with while on school visits, taking the total to 120,000.

One of the Government’s aims is to make it a lot easier for both pupil referral units and schools to take students on trips to local nature reserves, woodlands and city farms regularly.

As it stands, more than one in every ten-young people do not spend time in large green spaces or the countryside.