School pupils outside on frass

Wilding Schools:

Supporting students at 16 schools to bring nature back into school grounds.

UK Government policy is to protect 30% of the land and sea for nature by 2030. The DfE Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy (CCS strategy) calls on schools to work together to bring nature back into school grounds. Taking part in Wilding Schools helps contribute to a school’s participation in the National Education Nature Park, a separate Department for Education-commissioned project run by a partnership led by the National History Museum.

We support school pupils to use biodiversity mapping tools and give them access to expertise from the Wildlife Trusts and other ecological support partners. They are supported to complete a baseline survey of biodiversity, identify target animal groups for wilding in their area, and implement their own wilding plan. Once the Wilding Schools plans and commitments have been written and agreed, we will work with our partners to showcase them, so other schools can replicate and develop their own wilding plans as a central part of their CAPs. We are currently not accepting any more schools onto this programme.

A class of primary students in front of"wilding schools" sign

Tongwynlais Primary School

Tongwynlais Primary School is lucky to have a variety of Sites of Special Interest (SSIs), nature reserves and unique species nearby that contribute to the vast biodiversity of the area. They have some green areas, but these are being under-utilised. The aim is not only to view these as nature-friendly areas but also as valuable learning resources and enjoyable places for all. The Wilding Schools project marks another significant stride in the school's eco-action journey, offering a valuable platform to further elevate their dedication to nature, education, and sustainable practices. After a visit from South and West of Wales Wildlife Trust (SWWT), the Wilding Council decided to focus on bringing mammals to their school. They have made some log piles, started pond building research, and will soon begin their baseline surveys, including ordering trail cameras and creating mammal footprint tunnels.

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We’re working with students to wild 16 schools across England and Wales:

Eveswell Primary School
Ditton Primary School
Worle Community School
Clapham and Patching CofE Primary School
Notre Dame Catholic Girls School
St Boniface's Catholic College
Hele's Secondary School
The King Alfred School
Tongwynlais Primary School
St Mary's Secondary School
St Vincent's School
The Compass School
The Polygon School
St Mary's Catholic High School
Plymstock School
East Norfolk Sixth Form College
Map of Hele's School

Hele’s Secondary School

Thanks to the nature-passionate teachers leading the eco-club and gardening club at Hele’s, students have already immersed themselves into activities like tree planting and wildlife surveys. Now, under the guidance of enthusiastic geography teacher, Mr. Kelly, for the Wilding Schools Project, they're delving deeper into conservation, particularly focusing on insects in their wilding plans! Before the Easter break, the Wilding Council and teachers began planning for exciting changes: a vibrant wildflower meadow at the school's entrance and informational posters to educate visitors about biodiversity, accompanied by gentle reminders to treat the area with respect. We can’t wait to see what else the Hele’s Wilding Council get up to!

Our team

Emily Herbert
Wilding Schools Coordinator
Celine Clark
Project Manager
Jo Wilkinson
Senior Project Manager
Katie Underwood
Project Assistant
Mariana Fidalgo
Project Assistant