About the project

The ‘Voices of the Future’ project aimed to work with diverse children and young people to co-develop more hopeful, equitable, resilient treescapes of the future.

We aimed to integrate children and young people’s knowledge, experiences, and hopes with scientific knowledge in order to co-produce new approaches to creating and caring for resilient treescapes that benefit the environment and society.

Our objectives

  • to co-produce a transdisciplinary and cross-sector, ‘lexicon of experience’ with children and young people (CYP)
  • to devise, test and evaluate innovative models of co-production with CYP to shape treescapes policy and practice for future generations, and
  • to work with stakeholders to co-create knowledge and directly influence policy, pedagogy and practice to increase treescapes and maximise their benefits for the environment and society.

The future of treescapes belongs
to children and young people

The future of treescapes belongs to children and young people. It is the children and young people of today who will be tasked, as adults, with much of the labour required to reverse this decline. However, children’s and young people’s voices are still rarely heard in policy and practice.

The long-term decline in biodiversity and environmental quality in the UK will have a disproportionate effect on future generations. Trees are really important in the future of the planet as they have the capacity to store carbon. In this project we work with ‘Treescapes’ that its, places where trees are growing, including urban areas as well as woodlands.

This project employs an innovative co-production approach, in order to learn from children and young people to engage them in designing, creating and caring for Treescapes. This learning will be underpinned by innovative methods applied to enable children and young people to evaluate the contribution of different treescapes to future climate mitigation.

We will particularly attend to the ideas and experiences of young people from marginalised backgrounds in particular in order to collectively explore the values and affordances of treescapes, We aim to create a ‘lexicon of experience’ that is both scientifically attuned and collaboratively created with children and young people. This will be cascaded out to teachers and curricula makers.

The futures of children and young people will be improved by their greater understanding and appreciation of and participation in shaping the future of their treescapes, and by their increased inclusion in policy, pedagogy and practice.