Thousands of young people in Glasgow will have the opportunity to learn all about trees and the part they play in the ecology of the city during a series of special training courses this spring and beyond.
The Trees for Climate Action project, a partnership between the Field Studies Council and Trees for Cities, will help people aged 12-30 to build their knowledge about trees and learn new skills from environmental professionals and experienced volunteers.
Over the next two years, the project aims to engage 20,000 young people in two cities across two nations: Bradford and Glasgow, starting with a variety of free training courses in Glasgow.
Funded by a National Lottery Community Fund Bringing People Together grant, the project will bring generations together to share knowledge, skills and life experiences so that they can work, learn and take positive action to help tackle the climate crisis.
Rebecca Jones, biodiversity learning development officer for the Field Studies Council, said: “For people aged 12-30 living in Glasgow, this is a chance to join thousands of other young people in the city to learn more about trees, improve their wellbeing and help protect the natural environment.
“For those who work with young people either in a work, school or community setting, it’s also a great opportunity for them to encourage individuals to take part in this initiative.”
As part of the project, the Field Studies Council will provide free, introductory training courses in Glasgow, both in person and online, to upskill and professionalise local people.
It will also post hundreds of free easy-to-use guides about Glasgow trees to families and community groups throughout spring and then again in autumn.
“The guides have been created with input from Glasgow communities for Glasgow communities and they provide a learning pathway for people to get to know their city trees and explore related volunteer and career roles,“ added Rebecca.
Topics such as tree biology and ecology, seasonal identification of urban species and opportunities to engage and work with trees locally will be covered in the courses and guides.
The first training course in Glasgow will take place on April 28, from 10am until 4:30pm, at Milngavie Community Centre on Allander Road.
People who have taken part in previous tree training from the Field Studies Council have been glowing in their praise.
Participant Tess Agnew said: “I loved looking at and learning about all the features of a tree, such as buds and bark, and it was really interesting to learn about the biodiversity that trees support.
Jeff Wakeham said: “I came on the in-person course as I wanted to practice some actual tree spotting in the field to build my confidence, as sometimes out on your own you can doubt yourself, but in a group it’s nice to have your thoughts backed up by the tutor and other learners. I am hoping to retrain to work with trees in some way, maybe using trees to help fight climate change, not only planting trees but also using them for flood prevention, for cooling in cities, and biodiversity as well.”
Course tutor Biliana Deneva added: “The highlight of every course is when people start noticing the trees we have talked about – it’s that moment you see their eyes light up and they recognise and remember what they’ve learned. It’s amazing – you can see the connection forming and hopefully it will stay there and it will continue and they will pass on that connection.”
Individuals, families, groups and secondary schools can register before April 10 to receive their free tree guide by emailing [email protected]
To register for the training course email [email protected]. The deadline for registrations is April 3.
In addition to offering free tree guides and training courses, the Field Studies Council is also recruiting new tree trainers so that it can add to its programme of events. For more details on how to become a trainer visit https://www.field-studies-council.org/teach-natural-history or email [email protected].