Four local schools have partnered with the National Trust in Fermanagh as a way of supporting the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of pupils, staff and families as a result of Covid-19.

The programme, which began in January, involves approximately 1,200 pupils, staff and their families in the school community accessing the natural environment and resources available in the National Trust’s care to develop their physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

Closer to nature

This will be achieved by families having the opportunity to get closer to nature at Florence Court, Castle Coole and Crom. Schools involved in the Shared Education cluster include Enniskillen Integrated Primary School, Enniskillen Nursery School, Holy Trinity Primary and Nursery School and Jones Memorial Primary School. School passes are being distributed through the local schools, along with an information pack and terms of use.

Brian Treacy, principal at Holy Trinity Primary and Nursery School and schools cluster lead commented: “The schools cluster decided to partner with our local National Trust properties in Fermanagh to provide health and wellbeing opportunities for the children, their families and school community during the 2021 academic year.

‘Physical activity’

“During the recent Covid-19 restrictions, all schools have reported a reduction in physical activity by members of the school community and have saw an increase in anxiety and mental health issues.

“It is hoped that by providing our school community with access to these special places on our doorstep we will see a reduction in stress and anxiety levels in our school community.”

Jade Blair, National Trust Volunteering and Community Involvement Officer added: “Partnering with local schools in our community is a prime example of one of our founding principles as a conservation charity, which is to provide everyone with access to nature, beauty and history.

“Not only will the partnership benefit those within our schools and local community, but it will also help to support us as a charity with our conservation efforts.”

The partnership is part of a pilot programme for both the schools cluster and National Trust, made possible through shared education funding available to schools.


An evaluation will take place at the end of the programme between the local schools and the National Trust to determine its success. The National Trust will also monitor the use of the schools passes and provide a regular means of communication to the school community with ideas, inspiration and upcoming programming to do as part of their visit.