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News > Spotlight > Spotlight on our Natural Heritage

Spotlight on our Natural Heritage

Conservation work in partnership with The Woodland Trust, Belfast City Council and Belfast Hills Partnership
2 Dec 2022
Written by Claire Bunting

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration. Each year, the country’s conservation sector, volunteer groups and tree-lovers come together to plant thousands of trees to mark the start of the annual tree planting season.

To mark National Tree Week, Campbell College is celebrating some significant discoveries on Campus thanks to the Woodland Trust, Belfast City Council Million Trees and the Belfast Hills Partnership. A recent survey of  the College grounds undertaken by the Woodland Trust NI, uncovered an Ancient Woodland with native tree species dating back to the 1600’s and a small section of Planted Ancient Woodland dating back to the same period. Also revealed in the survey was potentially the largest Holly Tree on record in UK!  Work is now underway to remove invasive species in order to allow these woodland treasures to survive and thrive.

The College is working in partnership with The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland and Belfast Hills Partnership who have partnered with Belfast City Council Million Trees to fund this important sustainability work. The Woodland Trust NI and Belfast Hills Partnership will then reassess the woodlands and develop a planting plan to introduce more species.

We invited Gregor Fulton, Senior Outreach Manager at the Woodland Trust to talk to us about this important work that is underway. We also caught up with Mr Stephen Woodrow our Estate Manager to give his perspective on the work ahead.

You can find more inormation about National Tree Week and our conservation partners at the links below.

The Woodland Trust

Belfast Hills Partnership

Belfast City Council One Million Trees


Forest School

We have always had a strong connection to our woodlands. Our Junior School became an accredited Forest School in 2019. The Forest School Association was created in 1993 in the UK and steadily, more schools have been seeking accreditation. Follow this link to learn more about the philsophy and history of Forest Schools.

Campbell's Forest School curriculum allows children to enjoy opportunities for exploration and discovery, which ignite their imagination and promote their emotional well-being.  A wide range of skills and personal capabilities are developed, which transfer to the classroom and can be applied to everyday life.

In addition to promoting children’s holistic development and building their confidence, resilience and independence, Forest School fosters a sense of community and teamwork, whilst allowing the children to take supported risks which are appropriate to the environment and to themselves. You can see some of this work in action in the follwing video clip:

The Forest School has made a lasting impace on our pupils with a new Eco Club now established in the College. We will be reporting back on this and a range of extra-curriclar activites in a future Spotlight.

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