It is now coming to the end of the tree planting season for this year with most trees now starting to come into bud or full leaf and blossom beginning to brightening up field and town. Although with how the weather has been recently I am not sure if the trees know what month it is or even what season.
It is also the end of the Seedlings at School project which has now finished its fourth and final year. It has been a great project to work on and the time has just zoomed by. The statistics are impressive for the number of trees planted and pupils and schools worked with, but for the final blog I thought I would highlight what the project has meant to me.
I have worked with many varied and wonderful schools, from the large scale inner city schools of several hundred pupils, to the smaller rural ones with a variety of ages in one class. There have been special schools and academies, nurseries and colleges and children ranging from sixth formers to reception age.
I think the thing that has stood out for me over the years and with the variety of activities is that it doesn’t matter the type, or age, or ability of the children involved - they have all enjoyed being outside and doing practical activities in their school grounds or parks or woodland.
(There might have been a couple of children who wished they were somewhere else on a wet winters afternoon in the middle of January as the snow started to come down horizontally, but in general everyone enjoyed it!)
The sense of achievement that the pupils got when a tree was planted and named and talked to, or when a tree trail was planned and completed, or when a home was built for a magical creature in a wood full of Bluebells was brilliant to see and hopefully this will stay with the children long after the sessions have finished.
The photos attempt to sum up this fourth year and the wonderful schools, staff and children that I have worked with, but nothing can beat being out there with them doing all the woodland activities.
The Seedlings at Schools project is part of Bettys ongoing Trees for Life work. Ian Johnson, Education Officer at Groundwork, has been busy teaching children about the importance of trees through hands-on woodland themed activities.