What is the Nature Premium and how can it work most effectively?

Nature Premium

The Forest School Association and Farms For City Children discussed how we can give every child equal access to Nature

If you missed this event, watch it here

During this event, The Harmony Project’s director, Richard Dunne, was joined by Forest School Association director and trainer Sarah Lawfull and FSA deputy chair and Nature Premium campaign co-ordinator Sara Collins, to discuss how Nature Premium can support the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy and ensure equal access to Nature for every child.

You will also find Donna Marie Edmonds, CEO of Farms for City Children, talk about poverty of experience and how farms can be invaluable learning platforms for children. The second part of this webinar is an interactive conversation with the audience, where you will hear professionals in education, social care, psychology, home-schoolers and others, discuss what needs to be done to ensure that every child in the UK has regular and equal access to Nature.


Sarah Lawfull, Forest School Association Director and trainer

Sarah realised the importance of freedom and nature connection very early in her teaching career. Children whose lives were already impacted by adverse childhood experiences, living in small flats without gardens were expected to arrive at school, ready to learn. Getting them outdoors every day became a matter of survival for the staff. The calming effect of nature was evident. The children thrived. Discovering Forest School was a watershed moment, tempting Sarah to abandon the classroom for the woods. She has worked within all key stages, in mainstream and SEND provision, observing the benefits of quality Forest School for all.

Prior to setting up Where The Fruit Is, Sarah was the lead trainer for Oxfordshire Forest School Service, as part of the Oxfordshire Early Years Team. Sarah has supported many settings to bring the transformative, holistic approach of Forest School to their communities.

Dr Sara Collins, FSA deputy Chair and Nature Premium Campaign co-ordinator

Sara is a Forest School Practitioner, biologist and expert den builder who has recently added political nature advocate to her CV. As a small child in the 1970’s Sara used to carry toads she found on walks around Pembrokeshire marshes. Following a degree in Applied Biology and six years in forest research, she worked as the technical advisor in Europe for an American company that manufactured nematodes to control insect pests in horticulture. Tired of travelling, she took a career break to grow her son and discovered Forest School. Sara has worked with urban children in Forest School and outdoor education settings. Her pet toad Trev has been held and adored by over 2000 children without weeing on any of them.

Donna Edmonds, Farms for City Children CEO

Having devoted her career to working with the most vulnerable and challenging learners and the most disadvantaged young people in maintained, independent, specialist, PRUs and AP schools across the capital, Donna has held every middle and senior leadership role in both primary and secondary education and has been a Lead Teacher for Bromley LEA, a Lead Coach for Sutton LEA, an AST for London Challenge (Advanced Skills Teacher), a FCCT (Fellow of Chartered College of Teachers) and FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts). Donna left her role as a Headteacher of an ASC Specialist School to move into the charity sector in 2021 looking for a way to transfer her skills to the third sector.

She comes to the role of CEO at Farms for City Children, as a direct beneficiary herself. As an NQT in 2000, she was asked to lead a trip to the farm at Nethercott House, Devon. Growing up on a council estate in South London, she had zero experience of the natural world, or of the countryside and the links between food and farming. The week was utterly transformative and life-changing for her, as she realised the poverty of experience that she had suffered in being denied access to the natural world. So began her relationship with the charity she now leads, and also her journey as an advocate in the schools she has worked in to deliver enrichment activities that embrace a nature premium as a right not a privilege.