Do you know more about trees than a nine year old?


Nine-year-olds are more likely to identify Britain’s most iconic trees such as the oak and holly than people in their twenties, a survey shows.

When asked to identify leaves from the oak, 59 percent of nine year olds correctly identified the tree, as opposed to just 47 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds and 42 percent of 25 to 34 year olds.

Late teens and twenty somethings fared little better when identifying leaves from the holly tree, with 94 per cent of nine year olds correct, as opposed to 84 percent of 18 to 24 year olds and 83 percent of 25 to 34 year olds.

The results come from a survey* commissioned by the Woodland Trust and carried out by You Gov testing people’s knowledge of trees, as the charity celebrates a ten year partnership with Pearson – the world’s leading learning company.

Over the course of a decade Pearson has funded the planting of tens of thousands of trees to mitigate carbon through the charity’s Woodland Carbon scheme which will benefit young people for years to come.

It has also contributed to boosting youngsters’ knowledge of trees by providing curriculum materials to schools and tree seeds to 4,000 primary schools.

The Trust’s Director of Fundraising Karl Mitchell, along with Peter Hughes, Director of Sustainability at Pearson, led a celebratory planting day amidst the charity’s stunning Heartwood site in Hertfordshire where Pearson has funded more than 53 hectares of woodland. Pearson was presented with a celebratory tailor made plaque.

Karl said: “Pearson’s commitment to our Woodland Carbon scheme has helped plant thousands of trees, bringing wide reaching benefits to the environment – and of course to people and wildlife for years to come.

“The survey clearly alludes to the fact that children’s knowledge of trees is on the increase and Pearson’s additional funding for tree seeds to primary schools and curriculum materials – which backs up all the work we do with schools across the UK - must play a part in this.”

Peter said: “Although Pearson is increasingly moving towards digital, we recognise that educators owe a huge debt to trees, as paper has been a vital medium for our kids to learn for centuries.”

“As such, partnering with the Woodland Trust on our environmental programme was really a no-brainer, and we are delighted to celebrate 10 years of working together.”

Other tree knowledge tested in the survey were the conker tree with 82 per cent of nine year olds correctly identifying a horse chestnut tree as opposed to 70 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds and 72 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds.

Pearson and the Trust

- Partnership started in 2007

- Since Oct 2007 Pearson has planted trees to lock up carbon from its annual review and from its building use. This has led to the creation of almost 54 hectares of new woodland at the Trust’s iconic Heartwood Forest in Hertfordshire.

-From 2011 to 2013 Pearson UK also sponsored the Trust’s Seeds to Trees project in schools, providing curriculum materials and tree seeds to 4000 primary schools


More on the Trust’s Woodland Carbon scheme is here: 


*The survey was carried out by You Gov to a sample size of 605 children aged eight to 15 and 2022 adults.