A growing number of schools across the Bath region are taking part in the new local tree-growing scheme just launched by More Trees for BANES, a not-for-profit community group.
Oldfield Park Junior School, Combe Down Primary and Oldfield Park Pre-School in Bath and Fosseway School in Radstock are all participating in the project which aims to plant 100,000 trees across the region as part of its Climate Action Plan. More Trees sees the potential for micro-nurseries in people’s gardens or balconies, as well as in school grounds. The idea is that many people growing on a few native trees from seed or cuttings in their own micro-nurseries can result in the growing of saplings for planting out at local sites after a couple of years. The aim of the scheme is eventually to have a constant supply of locally grown saplings. This will contribute to BANES Council’s aim to plant 100,000 trees across the region in three years as part of its Climate Action Plan.
More Trees is partnering with Prior Park Garden Centre, which is providing space for sapling donations on a number of weekends during the tree-planting season. Fortunately the Prior Park Garden Centre is able to stay open during this latest lockdown.
So, gardeners who already have unwanted self seeded native tree saplings (with the exception of Ash, Horse Chestnut and Sycamore) which are approximately 1m tall, or 2 years old, can now donate them, labelled and in a pot, to More Trees. Donation weekends are being held at Prior Park Garden Centre on December 11-14, January 22-25, February 12-15 and March 5-8. These donated saplings will be planted out at local sites.
In addition, Jon Parsonage, a forest school leader and outdoor educator of Outdoor Adventures Bath, has been collaborating with local schools to help get the project off the ground. “The children that I’ve been working with have shown a real enthusiasm for the project,” he said. “I think that part of the reason for this is because they can see how important trees are for our environment, both locally and globally. Watching a tree grow from a seed that you’ve collected yourself is a truly wonderful experience.”
Jo Bird, who is Deputy Head at Combe Down Primary, has said of the project, “The children have already gained so much in taking part in the micro-nursery project and as a school we’re really looking forward to improving our grounds and local area.”