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The Woodland Trust

Young Roots

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The Woodland Trust's Young Roots project worked with five secondary schools in West Lothian, Scotland, to create films about their local woodlands and the environmental issues that surround it.

The Woodland Trust developed the Young Roots project to get teenagers interested in woodland areas and encourage them to look after the environment.

Organisers decided to use film to engage with young people and encourage them to visit local woodlands. School students were taken into the woodland and encouraged to explore and plant trees. Then, with the help of an experienced film-maker, they made their own films. Each ten-minute film was inspired by the students' ideas about the woodland and how people see the environment. Only two schools were originally contacted but as word got around, five different schools became involved in the project. Teachers were amazed at how readily the students talked to their peers and the wider community, and how their confidence and self-esteem improved.

National Lottery funding allowed the Trust to hire professional film equipment and experienced filmmakers to work with the young people. The films were shown at a premiere event at the local VUE cinema. The grant also allowed the group to make its own DVDs and CD-ROMs. The project deliberately targeted disaffected young people who were do not respond well to standard learning in the classroom.

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