Case Study

Anglesey's Woodland Schools Festival


In Autumn 2022, Anglesey County Council’s Countryside and AONB Unit, Outdoor Learning Wales, Cwlwm Seiriol and 7 local primary schools all came together in a celebration of woodland skills.

Helping to not only support the species and habitats of the Anglesey / Ynys Môn National Landscape, but also the wellbeing of the island’s future generation.

Held over 3 days in 3 different locations, a total of 148 pupils took part in several hands-on activities which aimed to enhance their understanding of nature and sustainability, as well as assisting their fine-motor development and communication skills.

What was done

During the day, the pupils took-part in 4 activities.

Under the guidance of National Landscapes staff, the pupils assembled bird boxes using wood, screws and electric drills. These were subsequently painted and decorated at school ready to be installed at home.

Next, the children connected with nature by, quite literally, tapping into their wild side. In a process known as Hapa Zome leaf bashing, hammers were first used to press natural pigments into cloth material to preserve a striking array of botanical forms. Second, the children experimented with a variety of natural acids and alkalis to enhance their prints, making use of both their creativity, and knowledge of chemistry.

After lunch, concentration was set on creating tiny wooden gems using Willow and Elder. These intricate creations required the steadiest of hands to remove the exterior bark and central pith.

Finally, the pupils enjoyed a variety of botanical games; helping them understand the essential role of biodiversity in supporting a healthier and more resilient Wales and our capacity to adapt to a changing world.


“By taking part in this exciting festival, pupils were able to build connections between the knowledge gained in the classroom with practical skills, through a hands-on experience of working in nature. The numerous activities combining academic learning with practical skills, also helped feed into the new school curriculum of Wales which promotes a holistic approach to learning. Hopefully, many of the pupils in attendance will go on to become future champions in promoting woodland skills.”

Deputy Council Leader and Economic Development portfolio holder, Councillor Carwyn Jones

  • 1 event held over 3 days in 3 locations.
  • Engaged with 148 primary school pupils (years 5 and 6) across 7 schools.
  • The event demonstrates best practice as by linking academic disciplines through outdoor learning through a bilingual medium, pupils were able to build connections between their subjects in a balance of knowledge, practical skills, and nature experience. In this way, the event fed into the new school curriculum of Wales which promotes a holistic approach to learning.
  • The event demonstrates excellence in management and delivery by uniting 7 primary schools across the island. Helping the children to connect with wider global issues through accessing their local designated landscape.
  • Despite the rain, all pupils left the event adorned with their creations; including bird box tucked under one arm, and an equally huge smile on their face.

Key learnings

  • The success of the event was testament to the enthusiasm and collaboration between all who attended on the day, including members of the Countryside and AONB Team, James Carpenter and Melissa Dhillon, Wild Elements, Huw Jones, and Dee Walker.
  • Funding from Natural Recourses Wales was also essential for providing transport for schools to the event.
  • We must also thank Outdoor Learning Wales and Cwlwm Seiriol who helped fund this fantastic event.
“The children had a great day developing different and new skills. Many children are unconnected to nature these days and this day showed how much they enjoy themselves. We painted the bird boxes and gave them as a Christmas present to each class. Each class gets to choose a tree and we want to install them. The children also loved creating leather ornaments and wooden jewellery! Thank you for a really lovely day!”

Ysgol Gynradd Llandegfan