Pupils aged three to 11 years, at the 400-strong Willowbrook School, have recently begun the task of planting 360 trees in their own school grounds. The trees, which are all native-species saplings, include oaks, hazels, hawthorns, blackthorns and crab apples. Once planted, the trees will benefit wildlife, as well as enriching the local environment for children, teachers and local people.
The trees have been supplied free of charge by the conservation charity Devon Wildlife Trust through its Saving Devon Treescapes project. The project helps communities replace trees which have been lost to the devastating fungal disease, ash dieback.
Willowbrook School has lost several trees in recent years due to ash dieback. The new trees are being planted to replace these and to complete a much-loved hedgerow at the school. Staff from Devon Wildlife Trust have been on hand at several planting sessions to help pupils.
Miss Georgia Scott, Year One teacher at Willowbrook School said:
“Planting the trees in school has been a huge collective effort. Every child has had the opportunity to plant a tree, and we hope that this encourages them to take responsibility and care for our school environment. Taking part in a project like this has taught our children not only the importance of trees themselves, but also what we can achieve when we work together as a whole school community in this way."