Ideas and Resources for Schools

Become a Tree Charter School

Take the Tree Charter School Pledge, commit to stand up for trees, and help shape the future for trees, woods and people.

What is a Tree Charter school?

Your school will be listed in the ledger of names that accompanies the Charter for Trees, Woods and People and you’ll receive one of 800 Tree Charter Legacy Trees to plant in your school grounds or a local community site.

You can also download a schools resource pack below that is full of ideas to inspire your school community and learn about the wonders of trees and woods.

To sign up as a Tree Charter school, you have to fill in the form below, and tell us not only what you have done, but what you will do to adopt the Principles as a school and the things you will do as a school from now on to celebrate and look after your trees and woods.

10552 Charter schools form1_20585

Tree Charter Principle Worksheet

Child Principles Display copy


How do we take the pledge?

  1. Fill in the form and return it to us at or by post to The Tree Charter Team, Woodland Trust, Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL
  2. Display the Tree Charter Principles in your school
  3. Use the resources provided to create a buzz about trees and woods in your school
  4. Plant your Tree Charter Legacy Tree to mark the launch of the new Tree Charter in November 2017


What else can we do to stand up for trees?

  • Walk around your school field or playground and observe the trees, or look at pictures of trees in your area, and talk about the 10 Principles and why they’re important.
  • Create a display board about trees and the Charter
  • Use our four Tree Charter songs, which will be available from mid-July, to run a musical class about trees.
  • Try a tree dressing activity.
  • Talk about looking after trees, and management. Discuss the need to cut down trees for wood or fuel or because of disease, and talk about planting to replace them.

Hay Festival Charter Challenge

We’re asking schools to get involved with the Tree Charter and sign as a school to show support for the 10 Principles that will underpin a future in which people and trees stand stronger together. As part of a special competition, we asked schools involved in the Green Tree Schools Award to take part in a special competition. Pupils had to draw one of the Principles, and the best drawing for each of the 10 Tree Charter Principles was sent back to us to be judged.

You can see the winning drawings below, and the runners up on the blog. The winner’s schools will receive a special prize.

Even if you didn’t take part in the competition, you can still sign up as a Tree Charter school and get a legacy tree to plant in November 2017. See below for more details.

The Winners!



The Tree Charter Principles

We believe in:

Homes for wildlife

Trees provide shade, shelter, food and homes for all sorts of animals and plants in the UK. Because they provide so much for wildlife, we call them habitats.

Planting for the future

We need more trees. Trees don’t live forever and when they die they leave big gaps. We need to plant more trees now so that there won’t be any gaps in the future. Sometimes trees are cut down to make space for new houses and roads. It is important that trees and woods are planted nearby to replace them.

Celebrating trees in art, books and history

People have been writing, painting and singing about trees for a very long time. There are lots of old books, legends, fairytales, and pieces of music and art about trees. This shows us just how important they are. We need to make sure that people can continue to make new art inspired by trees.

Working with trees and woods

Trees give us wood for building and burning and they also give us paper. There are lots of jobs which involve working with wood, from carpenters to foresters. The more trees we plant, the more jobs there will be.

Protecting important trees and woods

There are lots of very old and special trees in the UK that can’t be replaced. Many of these trees could be cut down to make way for buildings and roads. At the moment there’s not enough protection for trees like this and we want better laws to make sure we don’t lose them.

Trees near the places we live and work

Trees need help to grow properly near buildings and roads. If they are planted in the right places they can make our homes, schools, offices, road and railways much nicer and healthier.

Using trees and woods to help us stay healthy

Trees and woods help us to be fitter, healthier and happier, especially if they are near our homes. We want all doctors to encourage people to spend more time outside in woods to help them get better.

Making sure that everyone can visit trees and woods

Everyone should be able to enjoy visiting woods and trees, no matter who they are or where they are from. Communities should come together to enjoy, celebrate and care for the trees and woods in their neighbourhoods.

Looking after trees and woods properly

We need to look after trees and woods properly to make sure they stay healthy. We should all learn about the threats that trees face and the ways that we can help. Everyone that looks after trees should make plans to protect their trees from threats.

Using trees to make our landscapes stronger

Trees clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide, they also help stop floods and they clean water. These things all make our landscapes stronger. We want the government to understand just how important trees are and how much money they could help us save.


If you work with young people, but are not involved with a school, please visit our ‘Young People’ page to find out about  how under-18s can sign the Tree Charter.


Teaching Trees

The Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) education programme for primary schools provides fun and engaging curriculum-linked activities to teach children to value trees for wildlife, for enjoyment and for timber.

Green Tree Schools Award

The Woodland Trust’s Green Tree Schools Award is free, fun and has fantastic activities to help your school celebrate woods and trees. Schools are rewarded for completing environmental projects and encouraging outdoor learning. It’s a fantastic way to enhance your school’s green credentials while inspiring youngsters about woods and trees.

Free Trees for Schools

The Woodland Trust sends out free trees to schools and community groups across the UK every March and November (to coincide with tree-planting season). They are ideal for gardening and nature clubs. They also help to improve your school grounds and encourage more wildlife to your local area.

Woodland Trust Curriculum Linked Resources

The Woodland Trust has developed a range of KS2 and KS3 curriculum-linked resources to help you teach your pupils about woods and trees. These quality materials can be used to support and inspire outdoor learning, as well as classroom-based lessons. They range from tree planting to natural crafts to the study of ancient trees. Subjects covered include maths, literacy and science.

Forest School

The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences in a woodland environment. Children of all ages learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. Forest School programmes run throughout the year, for about 36 weeks, going to the woods in all weathers. Children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self-motivated. Find a local Forest School group and see what they can do for your school.

Wild Time for Schools

Wild Time for Schools is an easy-to-use, web-based tool, to help teachers take learning outside. You can use it any time you like, as many days as you like, whenever you like.

The Wild Network site gives you learning activities tagged against curriculum learning topics and key learning stages – all set out by time.  So, whether you want to try out an easy 10 minute activity for KS1, a one hour version or a whole day exploring data handling, writing, or investigating with KS2, there is something there for you.

myForest for Education

An easy-to-use and free online application from Sylva Foundation that enables any educator, or young person, to generate straightforward woodland management plans, maps and ecological impact assessments for woodland sites and school grounds.