News and stories

Read the latest outdoor learning news and stories

How to teach STEM outdoors

Ahead of British Science Week, discover the benefits of taking STEM into the school grounds, plus ideas for teaching STEM outdoors from early years to secondary school.

Getting started on improving your school grounds for outdoor learning and play

Looking to make improvements to your school grounds? Discover why an audit is the ideal first step in any school grounds development plan.

How getting muddy supports children’s mental health

Explore how mud play can support young children’s mental health, including ten activities to try ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Reclaiming school grounds for children’s mental health

Ahead of Children’s Mental Health Week, discover why we must maximise the potential of our school grounds to support children’s mental health.

2023 Year in Review: Bringing Climate Education to the Forefront

Our CEO, Carley Sefton, reflects on the new beginnings brought by 2023 and looks ahead to the future of climate education.

Outdoor Classroom Day: An exciting announcement

We’re delighted to announce that Learning through Landscapes are the proud new guardians of Outdoor Classroom Day!

Celebrating the My School, My Planet project in Walsall

We came together with everyone involved with the My School, My Planet project in Walsall to celebrate their achievements — find out more about the event.

Create Climate Ready School Grounds with our new resources

Discover new resources to help you create Climate Ready School Grounds that double as inspiring environments for outdoor learning and play.

My School, My Planet underway across North West

My School, My Planet is in progress in schools across the North West of England – learn more about this exciting project.

Target 2030 – A movement for people, planet and prosperity: Scotland’s Learning for Sustainability Action Plan 2023-2030

A Learning for Sustainability Action Plan has been launched in Scotland to ensure that every school will be sustainable by 2030.

My School, My Planet taking place in Walsall

My School, My Planet is underway in schools across Walsall – learn more about our flagship outdoor learning project.

National Education Nature Park: Pupils test activities at RHS Bridgewater

On Outdoor Classroom Day, pupils attended RHS Bridgewater to test activities for the National Education Nature Park.

How to teach numeracy outdoors

Make maths come alive for your pupils with 5 ideas for teaching numeracy outdoors from early years to secondary school.

5 ways to celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day

On May 23, thousands of schools around the world are stepping outside for Outdoor Classroom Day – here’s how to get involved.

How to write a winning Local School Nature Grant application

Local School Nature Grants are back! Explore our tips and tricks for writing a winning application.

Boost biodiversity in your school grounds with our Natural Nations surveys

As the Natural Nations project comes to an end, explore our ideas for using our surveys to boost biodiversity in your school grounds.

Making outdoor learning and play inclusive of girls

On International Women’s Day, explore four ways to ensure that outdoor learning and play is safe, inclusive, and accessible for girls.

Help us win a Charity Film Award!

We’re finalists in the 2023 Charity Film Awards! Will you help us secure the ‘People’s Choice’ award by voting for our film?

The evidence that shows how outdoor learning and play support children’s mental health

This Children’s Mental Health Week, explore how outdoor learning and play can boost mental health and support meaningful connections at school.

How to teach any subject outdoors at secondary school | Ask Educators

We asked secondary school educators to share their strategies for outdoor learning across every subject.

5 barriers to outdoor learning at primary school and how to overcome them | Ask Educators

We asked educators to share their advice for overcoming some common obstacles to outdoor learning at primary school.

3 things you need to know about outdoor learning in the early years | Ask Educators

We asked early childhood educators to share their essential knowledge for taking learning outdoors in the early years.

Our top tips for newcomers to outdoor learning | Ask Educators

We asked educators to share their advice for newcomers to outdoor learning — discover their top tips for teaching outdoors.

Why you should try outdoor learning in 2024 | Ask Educators

We asked educators to tell us why they choose to take learning outdoors — and why you should join them!

2022 Year in Review: New Partnerships, New Projects, and New Publications

Our CEO, Carley Sefton, reflects on a difficult year and finds the silver lining in the shape of LtL’s growing global reach and influence.

Myth busting: Why bad weather isn’t an obstacle to outdoor learning

Oh, the weather outside is frightful — but why should that stop you? Let’s bust the most pervasive myth about outdoor learning…

Department for Education announce major new climate project

Discover how we are supporting quality climate education through the delivery of the National Education Nature Park.

How outdoor learning can help you fulfil the four purposes of the new Curriculum for Wales

The new Curriculum for Wales is here! Explore the part that outdoor learning has to play in fulfilling its requirements.

Teacher wellbeing: Our tips for managing behaviour in the outdoor classroom

Pupil behaviour can have an enormous impact on teacher wellbeing. Taking the classroom outdoors could be the solution.

How can schools help tackle climate change?

Our collaboration with Architecture & Design Scotland is seeking to tackle climate change by making Scotland’s school grounds climate-ready.

Climate action: our recommendations for delivering effective climate education

Take a deep dive into our recommendations for bringing about meaningful climate action through effective climate education.

How schools can use the outdoors to help children cope with uncertainty

Children are living in an age of uncertainty. Explore how your school can use the outdoors to help children cope.

How to teach literacy outdoors

If you would love to teach literacy outdoors but don’t know where to start, explore our lesson ideas and quick tips.

Our ‘Taking Literacy Outdoors: Early Years’ online training course is here

Take the classroom outdoors with our outdoor literacy online training course for early years practitioners.

Teacher confidence: How to develop outdoor learning at your school

Teacher confidence is the key to developing outdoor learning for the long term — find out how to build it at your school.

Teacher confidence: Why it’s integral to outdoor learning

Research shows that teacher confidence is the biggest obstacle to outdoor learning. Find out why it matters, and how to build it.

Why the summer holidays are essential for teacher wellbeing

Contrary to popular belief, the summer holidays aren’t just for fun and games – they’re essential for teacher wellbeing.

Wrapping up the school year and reflecting on wellbeing

We’ve pulled together our thoughts and tips for wrapping up the school year whilst focusing on wellbeing for both you and your pupils.

5 ways to develop your school grounds for outdoor learning and play

School grounds play a vital role in a child’s development, discover 5 key ways to develop your grounds for outdoor learning and play Children are spending less and less time […]

Celebrating the Polli:Gen project highlights

Following an exciting and impactful Polli:Gen project earlier this year, we’re sharing a celebratory highlights video for the Leicester based project We are delighted to share a very special video […]

5 key benefits of outdoor learning

Taking learning outdoors can enhance education and improve mental health Here are 5 key benefits for children Stepping outside feels good – many of you reading this will already know and […]

Our new book launch: Teaching the Primary Curriculum Outdoors

BUY ‘TEACHING THE PRIMARY CURRICULUM OUTDOORS’ HERE It takes a village to raise a child; and it turns out that it takes an entire charity delivery team to birth a […]

New Award will grow foresters of the future

A new Scottish Junior Forester Award has been launched with the aim of giving children and young people an insight into a career in forestry, equipping them with the knowledge […]

Sir David Attenborough – UN Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award

We are delighted to hear the announcement by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that our Patron, Sir David Attenborough is the recipient of the prestigious “Champions of the Earth Lifetime […]

Feedback from our latest Forest Kindergarten training course

Last week’s Forest Kindergarten course in Stirling was a resounding success! Here’s some feedback from attendees…

The legacy of Lord Remnant

We are deeply saddened to hear of the recent passing of our Patron, Lord Remnant. With a passion for the environment and a long history of supporting young people through […]

Using an outdoor curriculum to boost wellbeing

Explore how schools across the UK are using an outdoor learning curriculum to support pupil wellbeing after the pandemic.

Local School Nature Grants to return for biggest year yet

We’re delighted to announce that our Local School Nature Grant scheme will return this year, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Since their launch in 2017, our Local School […]

Building dens and building connections at a Norwich primary

Local School Nature Grants helped 625 educational settings to improve outdoor learning last year. Queen’s Hill Primary in Norwich has already seen the benefits… Based in the outskirts of Norwich, […]

Would you like to take part in an early years mental health research project?

The project is called Social & Emotional Learning through bringing nature back to schools  in short SEL for Schools. We are aware of the impact Covid has/is still having on […]

The history of Forest Kindergarten in the UK

Forest Kindergarten plays a big part in what we do at Learning through Landscapes — but what is it? Explore the Forest Kindergarten qualification in detail…

Comparing Forest Kindergarten and Forest School

Forest Kindergarten and Forest School might seem similar, but they’re very different courses. Let’s compare the two…

New environmental education measures: our response

We were pleased to be one of a number of organisations asked to share our expertise in consultation with the Department for Education and the Natural History Museum recently, as […]

Making breaktimes spaces for teacher-free learning

Our Scotland Director, Matt Robinson, reflects on prioritising play and how to improve the quality of breaktimes. High-quality play is an essential part of childhood. Article 31 of the UN […]

A Grimsby primary’s outdoor learning progress

Learn how Claire Abercrombie, one of our Training and Development Officers, helped St Mary’s Catholic Primary Academy to boost their outdoor learning practice. Delivering outdoor learning training in schools means […]

New resources for outdoor learning and play

We are delighted to share with you the first set of newly designed resources for outdoor learning and play.  As a charity with curriculum-led outdoor learning at its core, we want to ensure our activities cover […]

How can educators best support children through climate anxiety?

Learning through Landscapes CEO, Carley Sefton, reflects on how The Big Ask, the recent climate anxiety report and the Pre-COP26 youth summit must provoke some big conversations. Last week was […]

An Advisory Visit to a nursery in the Scottish Borders

A few months ago Jane Mackenzie, Training and Development Officer at Learning through Landscapes, carried out an Advisory Visit at a small nursery in Scotland. This is the story of […]

Over 200 children to receive wet weather clothing

Thank you! Thanks to the support of everyone who liked, shared and donated to our Crowdfunder campaign last year, 7 primary schools across the UK have each received 30 sets […]

An important update about the ISGA Conference

Our Scotland Director, Matt Robinson, explains why we have made a difficult decision…  In light of the growing number of serious cases of Covid in Scotland, we have taken the […]

Natural Nations: new surveys and next steps

When we first began our Natural Nations project in December 2019, we could never have predicted the pandemic disruption that lay ahead. Funded by Erasmus+, Natural Nations is working with […]

5 top tips for protecting bees and other pollinators

DEFRA’s Bees’ Needs Week may be over for 2021, but bees and other pollinators need to be looked after all year round. Pollinating insects are critical for food production and […]

A chance to benefit from international education expertise

Mary Jackson, Learning through Landscapes’ Head of Education and Communities, explains why this year’s International School Grounds Alliance conference is especially important. On 23 and 24 September this year, the […]

Learning through Landscapes CEO, Carley Sefton, reflects on pandemic resilience

As I packed my office plants into my car last April, I did not expect that they would still be in my home office over a year later. In that […]

An Open Letter to Education Ministers

Teachers and school leaders from across the four nations have written an open letter to Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education), John Swinney MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Education and [...]

[ONLINE] From school play spaces to children’s right to play, for Brazilian childhoods

Roni Hirsch, Erê Labs, Brazil. School spaces are territories of ideal possibilities for children to build references about body potential and group cooperation both individually and collectively. Erê Lab has […]

Engaging children in multidisciplinary, evidence-based mental and physical health equity solutions

Engaging children in multidisciplinary, evidence-based mental and physical health equity solutions In this workshop, presenters will describe how ongoing collaborations between institutions of higher education, community-based environmental non-profits, and students, […]

Training, Inspiring, Protecting

Training, Inspiring, Protecting – Erasmus project The Training, Inspiring, Protecting Erasmus project is led by Birdlife Malta and the Maltese Ministry of Education. Learning through Landscapes (UK) and Birdlife Spain […]

Bouncing back with Nature Connection

Bouncing back with Nature Connection An interactive blend of theory and practice, exploring the critical difference between nature contact and nature connection. Why nature connection matters now more than ever; […]

The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative: A Time-Tested Solution for a 21st Century Challenge

The National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative: A Time-Tested Solution for a 21st Century Challenge The US National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative (NCOLI) was launched in May 2020 to help schools […]

My School My Planet – new research findings

As we tackle the question of how to return to school, new evidence from our My School, My Planet project shows that dedicated outdoor education programmes can support disadvantaged pupils […]

LtL Training update – face to face work

I wanted to write this piece to explain our current Covid controls while delivering in school, early years or childcare settings. Our decisions are based on Government advice and our […]

Learning through Landscapes CEO, Carley Sefton, reflects on a difficult year

This week my family and I sat down to watch the live streaming of a socially distanced version of A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic. It was wonderful, and […]

LtL Training Update – November 16th 2020

Dear colleagues We have continued our work in schools and early years settings as we believe that outdoor learning and play have never been more needed than now. Outdoor learning […]

Help end clothing poverty for UK schoolchildren

We need you to help end clothing poverty in UK schools and make sure every child can get outdoors, whatever the weather. Make a donation here: Give a child […]

Natural Nations: Having a field day in the Swedish press

During Spring lockdown in the UK, Spain and Malta, our Swedish friends and Erasmus + Natural Nations partners Naturskolan i Lund and Lund University were able to make significant progress with testing pilot biodiversity surveys in […]

Asking a favour

Dear friends old and new of LtL, On behalf of  LtL I would like to express a heartfelt thank you for all your support over the past few months. We […]

Natural Nations: birds, bees and happy collaboration

‘Really happy that we now have a way forward and a great understanding of what is going to happen next’                      […]

Sefari learning resources

A slightly different set of resources from our colleagues at  SEFARI (the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes) who are sharing educational activities and resources for teachers, parents and […]

Natural Nations: Swedish schools open for survey testing

Our newest Erasmus + transnational project had just got going when Coronavirus arrived and forced us to put the brakes on!  Fortunately, the teams from Malta, Spain, Sweden and the […]

Learning to Return Outdoors – learning outdoors as schools return

“I am Carley Sefton, CEO of The Learning through Landscapes Trust (LtL). LtL is a charity founded 30 years ago to promote the use of school grounds in education. LtL […]

A Nana in lockdown – tales from the garden pond

I am a Nana in lockdown and been given two new names by my four fabulous grandkids who I’m sadly not able to hug and squeeze.  Well not yet anyway. […]

Lose yourself in loose parts play

Hello! I’m Steve Moizer, one of the Training and Development Officers at Learning through landscapes, based in the Scottish office on the beautiful University campus in Stirling. For many years […]

Children’s mental health during lockdown

Dr. Helen Dodd of the University of Reading is working on two studies that are tracking children’s mental health during lockdown. The aim is to work out what children/families are […]

LtL is 30 years old – help us celebrate!

Learning through Landscapes (LtL) is 30 years old today! You can read all about the history of LtL by clicking here.  

International School Grounds Alliance Conference – Postponement

The global situation we are currently all in means – for many – we have to become more comfortable with adapting. Here at Learning through Landscapes, that means looking at […]

Homeschooling and your garden

Hi, I’m Mandy Tulloch, an outdoor learning specialist in Aberdeenshire. I run Mud Pies, weekly nature classes for 2 to 5-year-olds and work in four great primary schools in Aberdeen, […]

Why we’re taking the time out to rest, reflect and readjust to the “new normal”.

We’ve decided to give our staff a week off to process the ever-changing whirlwind that the entire world has found itself in. And this is why. There is no escaping […]

About Friedrich Froebel, who invented “kindergarten”

Childhood is a time for, well, childhood! It’s not a preparation for school or adulthood. Children need to go at their own pace, with time to explore, manipulate, discover, practise […]

Social distancing and getting outdoors – Covid-19

Social distancing and getting outdoors – Covid-19 Like so many people around the world, we are trying to social distance, and yet a sunny weekend has shown the challenges of […]

Join our FREE outdoor learning online support group during COVID-19

Here at Learning through Landscapes, we want to support you during these uncertain times. Our first step was to launch a free virtual forum to guide families and educators with [...]

Secondary Science Fieldwork – Bioprofiles Erasmus+

I’m a secondary pupil get me outside! We are nearing the end of a two-year Erasmus+ project secondary science fieldwork. The main feedback from participating students was their enjoyment of […]

Another Erasmus project takes off!

Natural Nations is the new Erasmus-funded project led by LtL with collaboration from organisations in Sweden, Malta and Spain.  The LtL ‘Nat Nat’ team will work with Naturskolan i Lund, […]

Matt Robinson announced as new Scotland Director

We are delighted to announce that Matt Robinson will be taking over as Scotland Director at Learning through Landscapes (LtL) in January 2020. Matt has been a member of the Scottish team […]

The global movement that’s improving child health and wellbeing, nature connection and engagement in learning

Susie Smith, a passionate advocate of education for sustainability, discusses the success and impact of Outdoor Classroom Day. Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor [...]

Living through Landscapes – a reflection

Mary Jackson, qualified teacher and Landscape Architect, discusses our latest project- Living through Landscapes- which is nearing completion after transforming the outdoor experiences of hundreds of people living with dementia. […]

#WeeVoicesBigActions – Activity Ideas

Below are how three settings are taking on the Wee Voices Big Actions campaign on the 10th of December. You can read more about the idea by reading our original […]

Wee voices big actions – action on climate change

If children don’t grow up experiencing nature, they won’t understand nature. If they don’t understand nature, they won’t care for it. And if they don’t care, who will? Sir David […]

Our phone numbers are changing

The phone numbers at the Learning through Landscapes office in Winchester are changing today. Our main contact number is now 01962 392932. This replaces 01962 846258. Direct numbers for our […]

The biggest environmental youth movements you’ve never heard of

Behind Greta Thunberg’s headline grabbing thunderstorm of the #YouthStrike4Climate and the Extinction Rebellion protests, there are a huge number of grassroots environmental youth movements tackling climate change and boosting young […]

Are your school grounds helping to improve the mental health of your pupils?

Last year, Learning through Landscapes spoke with American Landscape Architect Claire Latané who believes that the design of school grounds really matters. She has a particular interest in how their […]

Engaging and inspiring learners outdoors

Clare Rooney, qualified teacher and experienced trainer, outlines her five top tips for teaching in outdoor environment.  As a Training and Development Officer based in our office in Stirling, Clare […]

One World Learning – conference resources

Connecting with nature and working together brought a sense of purpose and passion to these disadvantaged communities.

Do you need a tree in your life?

Connecting with nature and working together brought a sense of purpose and passion to these disadvantaged communities.

Celebrating our Fruit-full legacy

It started with a seed of an idea. Three years later, Fruit-full Communities has become a transformative force in so many young people’s lives.

Will you take part in World Ocean Day for Schools?

With World Ocean Day for Schools fast approaching on Friday 7 June, we spoke to Steve King from Wild Labs all about their watery campaign.

Local School Nature Grants launched for 2019

Schools are invited to apply for up to £500 worth of free outdoor equipment and two hours of professional outdoor training as part of Local School Nature Grants.

Looking to the future for Learning through Landscapes

By having one name and one identity we can better show the huge breadth of work we carry out as an entire organisation.

Getting inspired; school grounds around the world

Over the years I have been incredibly lucky to have visited schools and settings in more than a dozen countries around the world.

Erasmus+ and Europe: what next?

In this turbulent Brexit period, Learning through Landscapes continues doing what it does best: working in partnership.

Changing the mindset on outdoor learning experiences

Outdoor learning is a phrase that covers so many wonderful learning experiences; from daily play in the nursery yard, through to maths lessons in the school grounds, forest schools, residential programmes, adventurous activities and even foreign expeditions.

Finding a voice

When working with a new group I often start with a simple game so that we can all introduce ourselves.

Woodland play in St Ronan’s Primary

“It’s liberating.. they are out of theclassroom, out of the traditional playground situation and can bechildren again”

Redhall Primary Woodland play

The school is located in the grounds of a mainstream primary school and shares the millennium woodland that runs along the edge of both playgrounds.

Longstone Primary Woodland play

The school is located next to a school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and between them they share a strip of millennium woodland that runs along the edge of both of their grounds.

Lenzie Moss Primary Woodland play

“You can see it on the children’s faces – they are not walking to thewoodland, they‟re running. They are desperate to come here and play”

Lanark Primary Woodland play

“Out here, with nothing added there is a whole wealth of opportunity… they use their imagination to bring it alive”

Dalmeny Primary Woodland play

“To learn adventurously” but also sustainably are part of the school’s aims – both supported by their use of a community woodland on their doorstep.

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