SIR David Jason and singer Ellie Goulding are among the leading names to lend their support to a new Royal Forestry Society (RFS) initiative that aims to reach one million children across the country. 

Launched alongside Bags of Ethics, the Green Tree Badge puts trees and nature centre stage for children, parents, teachers, and communities for the year ahead.

The aim is for children to participate with their families, community groups or schools to learn more about the incredible world of trees. It will deepen understanding of the value of trees and forestry, and the part they play in the battle against climate change.

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Sir David, best known for his role in Only Fools and Horses, said: “I love trees and all that they bring to the planet. I have planted and looked after many of them in my lifetime. 

"The Green Tree Badge with its focus on children – future guardians of our planet – to be better equipped and knowledgeable about trees, nature, and our wider environment is something that deserves our full support, and certainly has mine.”

Forestry Journal: The Green Tree Badge initiative aims to reach one million children The Green Tree Badge initiative aims to reach one million children (Image: RFS)

The Green Tree Badge is a partnership between RFS and Bags of Ethics. Together, they share a vision that children are the future planners, managers and custodians of our woodlands. It is also being supported by the Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS).

The campaign aims to donate at least 5,000 copies of the activity book to primary schools in disadvantaged communities which will ensure children of all backgrounds to be able to participate.

Christopher Williams, the RFS chief executive, said: “Trees play a special and vital part in all our lives. Now, more than ever we need to inspire the next generation to love, value and grow up wanting to care for them. Trees are not just beautiful, individually and together. They also play an invaluable role in the fight against climate change. 

"They lock up carbon as they grow and provide a whole range of environmental and economic benefits. By creating a series of fun activities leading to the Green Tree Badge we aim to give children a life-long love of trees.

"By taking part, children will be discovering all different types of trees. They will be finding out how they grow; getting hands-on to find out how they benefit wildlife and exploring the uses of timber. There is also an opportunity to go for a special Gold Award.

Forestry Journal:  Ellie Goulding is backing the campaign Ellie Goulding is backing the campaign (Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images)

“The Royal Forestry Society is committed to inspiring a new generation of foresters and people who love woodland. The Green Tree Badge is a natural extension to our work with schools, colleges and university students.”

Activities for the Green Tree Badge will take place across the country with ceremonies for children being held across the country in castles, arboretums and national gardens.

Organisations supporting and partnering with Green Tree Badge include The Scouts, Severn Trent Water, Hamptons and others.