Empowering through learning 

Learning about Forests aims to increase knowledge about the key role forests play in sustaining life on our planet through outdoor and classroom learning. The programme encourages students to reconnect with their woodland heritage and imbues them with a sense of ownership of their environment which, in many places, has become lost over time. This reconnection with the environment is intended to reassert the idea that our forests are a natural asset to be treasured and kept safe for future generations. While the focus of the LEAF programme is on tree-based ecosystems, the skill and knowledge acquired can be applied to any environment on earth. Learning about Forests advocates outdoor learning and hands-on experiences which result in the pupils getting a deeper and more involved understanding of the natural world. What LEAF ultimately strives for is to enable future generations to not only make environmentally sustainable and informed decisions in their lives, but also offers them the opportunity to rediscover the beauty and wonder of the natural world.


Learning About Forests instills in students a sense of ownership in their natural surroundings, rekindling in them the wonderment which woodlands evoke and reminding them of the importance the environment plays in our lives.


Through hands-on learning, the LEAF programme educates about all aspects of the forested environment, encouraging students to understand and engage more with their surroundings.


Learning About Forests inspires students to use their forests and to appreciate all the wonderful things they do for us, from the wood we use to the oxygen we breathe.


Students are encouraged through illustrative means and field trips to realise just how important it is to protect and improve our woodlands. The sustainability for which the Foundation for Environmental Education campaigns is at the core of this programme.

 Learning about Forests Ireland

Learning about Forests Ireland

Aims of the LEAF programme 

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

Goals and Objectives 

  • Ensure students learn to enjoy the outdoors, experience and observe nature. Encourage positive experiences outdoors and develop a positive attitude toward the environment and our forests. Help students gain a general curiosity about nature and human interaction with forests.
  • Ensure students understand the ecological web. It is important to understand the ecology of forests. This knowledge leads to a better understanding of nature’s processes. 
  • Ensure students understand the interplay of man and nature. The programme reflects all the functions forests fulfil for people: cultural, ecological, economic and social. Understanding the balance between these is crucial when understanding the potential conflict of interests that exist between different stakeholders.
  • Ensure students are capable of making decisions on environmental issues. By understanding the interplay between forests and humans we can identify where conflicts of interest may arise. Questioning skills are crucial to collect knowledge and reliable information. Based on education and knowledge, students can make well-informed decisions.
  • Ensure students help take responsibility for their future. Every individual is responsible for their own actions. The LEAF programme and the structured approach to education and awareness of forests has the potential to create a highly educated, informed and skilled population translating into many associated environmental, economic and societal benefits through better understanding of forests and related disciplines.