Voices of the Future will work with children and young people to re-imagine Treescapes

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:

3 years

Three children stand on tree branches

Project Summary:

Our woods, forests and trees belong to our children. However, the current long-term harming of our Treescapes is leading to loss of animal and plant life and lower environmental quality. Young people in the UK will be deeply affected by this, and they will be tasked with fixing these problems. And yet their voices are rarely heard in policy and practice, even with growing youth activism.

Voices of the Future will link young people’s hopes to ground-breaking science on how trees adapt to and limit climate change. In addition to this, researchers will look at how we can change the present and reimagine the future of treescapes for the benefit of the whole UK.

“We will work with young people to develop more accessible, resilient treescapes of the future that can be enjoyed by more people. We cannot have sustainable treescapes without equipping young people with the tools to plan better environments.”

– Professor Kate Pahl, Project Lead

In order to do this, researchers will bring together children, Natural England and Community Forests to look at how young people connect with our woods, forests and trees. They will listen to the ideas and experiences of children from early years up to secondary school age. And critically, children with limited access to treescapes will be included – such as those from racialized, migrant-background, and socio-economically disadvantaged communities.

The results will inform educational policies, teacher training, urban planning and treescape design. In the end, this project hopes to show that treescapes are not just environments to consume, but are spaces of connection, involvement and hope.



  • Natural England
  • The Children’s Society
  • The Chartered College of Teaching
  • Early Childhood Outdoors
  • Wild Rumpus
  • Forest Research


  • Manchester City of Trees
  • Mersey Forest, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
  • Aberdeen City Council Arboriculture
  • Bailies of Bennachie
  • Station House Media Unit


  • Woodside Primary School, Aberdeen
  • Seymour Park Community Primary School, Whalley Range High School, Pendleton Sixth Form College, Bramhall High School, all in Greater Manchester
STATUS: Ongoing

Project Lead

Kate Pahl, Manchester Metropolitan University


University of Aberdeen, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, University of Cumbria, Middlesex University London, The University of Sheffield and Natural England