What is the International Day of Forests?

The International Day of Forests was created by the UN in 2012 and falls on the 21st of March every year. It is a day to celebrate and highlight the importance of all types of forests, encouraging people to act by and ply their part no matter how small. The theme changes every year to provide a range of solutions and a variety of knowledge.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN invites you to “Organise or join events celebrating forests: tree plantings, symposiums, photo competitions or host a student debate". The official date for International Day of Forests is March 21st but you don't need to just mark the occasion in March as the day is meant to have a lasting impact.

Why Is This Important?

Forests are essential for all life on Earth. As well as gifting us with beautiful sights, forests provide us with oxygen to live, wood to build, paper to write on, resources to use and habitats for animals to prosper in. The International Day of Forests is vital as it helps raise awareness; reminding us all why we need forests and inspiring people to do little tasks across the globe that combine to make a big difference. It is also a great opportunity for students to discover the world of trees and forests and how they play a part in our everyday life. 


For some quick easy facts, the Forestry Commission provides a variety of resources ranging from planting and timber to the amount of woodland area that covers the UK. Other useful websites that provide resources for children and schools on the topic are; 

Forests to Visit

If you enjoy walks, bike rides or nature below are a number of great forests to visit in the UK and Kent.

  • Grizedale, Cumbria.
  • Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway.
  • Hackfall Wood, North Yorkshire.
  • Brechfa Forest, Wales.
  • Ashdown Forest, East Sussex.
  • Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland.
  • Kielder Forest, Northumberland.
  • Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire.

Forests in Kent

  • Beacon Wood Country Park.
  • Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest.
  • RSPB Reserve Blean Woods.
  • King's Wood.
  • Ashenbank Wood
The ‘Forest School’ approach gives children the opportunity to drive their own learning forward by being encouraged to take more risks, thinking outside of the norm and being provided with the real life experiences. In this blog, one teacher shares how they maximise outdoor learning with a variety of hands on activities.

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