Trees for Life
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.
Not sure whether to call this blog winter or spring because we seem to be going backwards and forwards between the two seasons! A cold wind blowing in from Russia and then a warm westerly bringing a thaw and a promise of croaking frogs and nesting birds.
Another Christmas has passed and thoughts are now slowly turning towards springtime and the lighter nights and new growth. It always raises my spirits when I realise that the days are slowly getting longer and we have the first appearance of the white Snowdrops or the yellow Winter Jasmine.
It was a bright blue day and the sun shone from an aquamarine sky as we travelled across the roaring roads, through the old silent churchyard, beside the bending, bubbling river and across the wobbly bridge to get to the edge of the deep woods.
Spring is now definitely here with the mornings getting lighter and the weather getting warmer. The trees that we planted back in November are now starting to have buds on and are getting some leaves. The first Bluebells are starting to open up and summer is only a light breeze away. It is a great time of year with everything feeling fresh and born again ready for the new season.