Frequently Asked Questions

Starting your LEAF award

How do I register for LEAF?

We are currently running a pilot LEAF programme in Scotland, which will last from January 2023 to July 2023. We expect registrations will be expanded in Autumn 2023. Until then, registrations are closed, but you can complete our waiting list form in the meantime.

Our establishment is in the middle of a city, can we still take part in LEAF?

Yes, definitely. We welcome interest from schools in all locations. There is always greenspace to be found, even in the most urban of environments. You do not need to be located near to a forest, or even trees, to take part in LEAF.

How long does it take to gain a LEAF award?

The pilot LEAF programme will run for 6 months. Once registrations are fully opened, a first LEAF award will take one year. Renewal of a LEAF award will take two years, whether you completed the pilot or the standard programme.

Gaining your LEAF award

Do I need to choose a Theme to follow?

Yes. You need to choose a Theme that most of your aims and actions fit into. See our Themes page for more details.

How many actions do I need to receive my LEAF award?

You need a minimum of three actions for your LEAF award. These actions must cover the following areas:

  • Progress in learning taking place outside
    • This can be within or outside the school grounds
  • More opportunities for pupils to connect with nature
    • This can be in any greenspace you have access to
  • Learning about forest-based ecosystems
    • This includes tree-based ecosystems in urban and rural environments, marine forests and micro-forests (moss and lichen)

See our Action Plan page for more details.

Do we have to submit a draft Action Plan for approval?

No, you do not have to, but we would recommend it so we can check you are on the right track. We recommend your Action Plan is submitted three months after starting your LEAF award. Draft Action Plans should be submitted to leaf@keepscotlandbeautiful.org. Please allow up to three weeks for your feedback to be sent.

Starting your next LEAF award

We’ve just received our LEAF award, when do we start another application?

As soon as possible. Once you have received notification of your LEAF award, you should restart the Forest Cycle and start working towards your next award. You do not need to notify us that you have started your new award.

How long does my LEAF award last?

A LEAF award is valid for two years, after which we would expect to see a renewed award application.

What happens if I don’t renew my LEAF award within two years?

If you are a bit behind with applying for your LEAF renewal, you can apply for an extension of up to 6 months. If you stop the LEAF programme completely, your award will no longer be valid and you will need to rejoin the programme and complete a new LEAF award over a one year period.

Do we need to choose a new theme for each LEAF journey?

Yes. We would expect you to choose a new LEAF theme for each journey, although you can revisit previous themes from past awards (just not your very last one). This allows you to discover new aspects of forest-based ecosystems.

Who do we contact for help and support?

Please email leaf@keepscotlandbeautiful.org with any questions or support requirements. We are always happy to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us.

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