“Stepping Stones” Forest

A Stepping Stone Forest is a small, densely planted forest using native species of trees and shrubs. Due to the dense nature of the planting the trees and shrubs grow very rapidly.

Stepping Stone Forests provide natural oases for Irish wildlife. They also provide vital ecosystem services that greatly benefit us humans also

The planting area is prepared by covering it with layers of cardboard, newspaper and wood chip mulch. Over the past few weeks the pupils collected lots of cardboard and today all classes lay out the cardboard on the grass area and covered it with bark.

In approximately six months time the community volunteers and the schoolchildren will plant the trees and shrubs at a rate of three per square meter.  We hope to have 400 trees planted in our forest – to create an outdoor classroom.

Stepping Stone forests for schools are excellent educational tools that  enhance the knowledge and appreciation of nature in children.

These forests are small, dense,  native woodland habitats on the grounds of schools. Stepping Stone forests are  outdoor  classrooms. The little forests provide an opportunity for classes to spend time outside learning about nature. Children grow and mature along with the forest.  There are  a lot of reports and online materials that demonstrate the fantastic benefits for children of being exposed to forests and to learning in a natural environment.


“Stepping Stones” Forest – phase 1…preparation

MAY 2022

The children worked very hard in May 2022 to prepare the forest floor for our outdoor classroom. They laid paper and card on the ground, wet it, and covered all the paper with wood chip bark mulch.


This has now sat for six  months and is almost ready for planting. The girls and boys will plant 500 trees into the forest floor that they prepared in summer. We are eagerly awaiting a date for planting and will update the children as soon as we know.

Planting has been planned for Wednesday, 30th November.

On 22nd November pupils began preparing the school gardens today in preparation for a visit next week from Stepping Stone forests.

4th and 5th class pupils did a lot of weeding today in the November sunshine to prepare the soil for planting next week


Many thanks to Ms. Burke and her happy assistants!


“Stepping Stones” Forest – phase 2…planting

Busy and exciting day in St. Bernadette’s SNS  today – 30th November 2022!

Our “Stepping Stones” forest was ready for planting.

Major transformations underway  – 1,100 trees were planted today!

Lots of happy tree planters from all classes enjoyed the day.

Thanks to LitterMugs and AWS – Amazon in Communities

#AWS in Communities

Lots more pictures to view at this link – thanks to Paula Nicholson-Reilly


Pupils Art


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