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Article citation: , (2012) "Feature", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 13 Iss: 2, pp. -
The Forest Education Initiative (FEI), created in 1992, is a partnership of a broad range of bodies including civil society organisations, government organisations and the forestry and education sectors. A review of FEI was undertaken by Forest Research to explore its history and development and identify strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for the future. The work was undertaken through an analysis of documents, a range of interviews and a survey of cluster groups across Britain. 44 of the 73 cluster groups in early 2010 responded to the survey.
Key findings are reported in relation to its governance, funding, cluster groups, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. A particular strength of FEI concerns the flexibility of its governance structure, with coordinators and steering groups acting as an umbrella of support for cluster groups that can develop and fade depending on local need and enthusiasm. FEI is a wide-ranging network that supports a broad variety of people and groups (teachers, rangers, education providers, private forestry) to work with a diverse range of people in local schools and communities. The range, diversity and size of cluster groups across GB reflect local needs and interests. However, there appears to be a lack of knowledge and understanding of what FEI is, both internally within the cluster groups and amongst partner organisations and externally with other organisations and the wider public. Also noted was a lack of well designed monitoring and evaluation, which means that key activities and achievements of FEI are not fully captured. The report can be seen at: www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/INFD-8K7D4Q