A conservation charity has announced that it hopes to open a Nature School as a combined nursery and primary school.

Devon Wild Trust want to open the school, aimed at children aged three to 11, in Devon.

The Nature School would be a mainstream school, open to all, following then national curriculum but with a focus on outdoor learning and the natural environment.

Okehampton has been suggested as the preferred location for the school, after the town was identified by Devon County Council as an area which is in urgent need of more primary schools.

Devon Wildlife Trust is now talking to local authorities, people and schools in the West Devon market town to gauge their support for the proposal.

Harry Barton, chief executive of Devon Wildlife Trust, said: "We are seeking support from members of the community across Okehampton, in particular from parents whose children would be eligible to attend primary school in 2018 to 2019 and who live in the Okehampton area or nearby.

"Each year Devon Wildlife Trust supports many thousands of school children to learn through nature.

"Our plan to open a Nature School is rooted in our experience that children thrive, are happier and their attainment improves when their learning is linked closely to the natural world around them.

"The positive feedback we receive from the teachers, students and parents we work with is supported by an impressive body of independent research.

"Ofsted has also reported that learning outside the classroom contributes significantly to raising standards and improving pupils' personal, social and emotional development.

"We hope that Okehampton will become the first community in Devon to benefit from a Nature School.

"The town has a fascinating history and is surrounded by wonderful countryside, with rivers, parklands and woodlands, and all within a stone’s throw of Dartmoor National Park.

"I can’t think of a better place for a Nature School, and I really look forward to working with teachers and the local community to make it a success.

“Our intention is not to compete with other schools. At Okehampton there is a need for more primary school places which we can help address.

"We want to work alongside existing local schools and become part of a thriving school community delivering high quality education.”

Devon Wildlife Trust's plan for a Nature School is one of four being proposed by Wildlife Trust's in England, others include school in Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Birmingham.

However plans for the Nature School will only proceed if Devon Wildlife Trust can demonstrate strong local support, so the charity is organising a consultation day at the Ockment centre in Okehampton on Friday, February 24.