Seedlings at Schools: renewing old friendships
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.
The trees are still in their dormant phase because the sap has not yet started to rise and it is a good time to plant if the soil is not too frozen and the weather not too bitter. It was a cold clear day with only a risk of winter showers when I travelled to York to renew an old relationship with one of the first schools to be part of the project.
Seedlings at Schools have worked with St. Barnabas CE School in York for the last three years and it was great to be invited back to be part of the opening of their new outside classroom. I have worked with all the age groups in the school and we have planted many trees around their fence line to create new hedges.
This time we decided to plant a woodland area to complement the new outside classroom and the new bug hotel that have recently been constructed. Hopefully the wood will grow up to be a great resource for scientific and environmental exploration by the children and also as a haven for wildlife.
Many of the children who planted trees this time have worked with me before and it was wonderful to see how accomplished they were at planting trees and also the knowledge they have about tree growth and the environment. We managed to plant all the trees even though we had to halt a couple of times for snow and hail showers.
The day went really well with an environmental poet also working with the children and two new fruit trees planted to be part of the school’s developing orchard. The classroom, orchard and woodland area will be a fantastic resource for the children in the future so they can spend even more time outside exploring their grounds.
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.