27th September 2021
Every child in the school will plant a tree seed and the saplings will be planted on a nearby piece of land to create a small forest.
To teach the children about nature and ecology, linked in to the curriculum.
To give the children a sense of achievement and to provide a practical and useful response to climate change, thereby easing some of their anxiety surrounding the subject.
Personnel: The project will be run by Stuart Davies and Poppy Manley, supported by Mhari Smith and Katie Eberstein of the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
The project will have four phases:
Phase 1: Introduction and seed collection.
The idea will be introduced to the children in an assembly and to the parents via the website.
A central seed collection point will be established for children to bring in acorns, conkers and beech nuts. They will be sorted by Stuart and Poppy, hopefully with some children’s help.
Phase 2: Planting.
Pots will need to be collected. We already have about 100.
The planting will be done in the secret garden and housed on shelving in the spaces either side of the stairs.
Poppy and Stuart will take half a class at a time for half an hour each group. Poppy has already run a pilot for this with last year’s year 3 cohort.
Phase 3: Nurturing
Most native trees, especially oaks, (which we are likely to grow the most of) take very little caring for. Stuart and Poppy will take full responsibility for the watering and care. We both live close enough to come in school to water during the holidays, and we have discussed moving the saplings to Stuart’s garden for the period that the school is completely closed.
During term time there are various options we could explore to involve the children in the care of the trees: class monitors, a watering rota, ‘tree club’ or taking small nurture groups and individual children who need some calm, out on an ad hoc basis.
Phase 4: Planting out.
The trees will need to be planted out to their final location in November 2022. The organisation that Stuart works with, Wood for the Trees, will be crucial at this stage, as they will help us to find a suitable piece of land on which to plant our trees. Stuart is already in negotiation with the council in conjunction with a charity. As a back-up plan we have Wilderness Woods near Hadlow Down. The precise logistics of the planting will be worked out nearer to the time, as they will depend on the site’s location and other factors. We are planning do a test run with the saplings that year 3 planted last year, this November.
We will need to buy compost. Approximate cost for 400 litres £60.00.
We will need to buy shelving. Approximate cost £100.
We have discussed asking parents for a donation “50p to plant a tree” or “Give a pound to put a tree in the ground”.
Stuart and Poppy will not expect any overtime for the extra hours that we will inevitably put into the project. We are fully committed to making it work without any extra payment and with as little disruption to our other duties as possible.