366 trees, large and small, planted thanks to #GreenerwithGreggs

By Francesca Fryer | June 03 2019

366 trees, large and small, planted thanks to #GreenerwithGreggs

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    A grant from Greener with Greggs meant that Roots for the Future held three planting events in South West Surrey. Over the course of the three events over 60 children planted 366 trees in two locations in Godalming.

    We held two wonderful planting events at Ladywell spiritual retreat. The first in March Year 5 from St Edmunds started a hedgerow of Dogrose, Bird cherry, Plum cherry, Rowan and Spindle. We started the afternoon off discussing climate change and the environmental impact we all have on the earth with the Year 5 St Edmunds pupils. They knew such a huge amount about climate crises, such as hurricanes, deforestation, wildfires, as well as what we can all do to help slow down the effects of climate change.

    Then we explored the woods that are already there identifying the different trees – no easy feet in winter when there are no leaves. But we managed! These children are very well informed! I was certainly impressed and so were the sisters who came along to help plant. 170 trees were planted that afternoon, no easy feet!

    But the hedge was only half completed by the children from St Edmunds, so in came the local Cubs to finish it off in May. 19 Cubs along with siblings and parents planted 140 trees in just one and a half hours! The Cubs are encouraged to do community and environmental projects so the Thursday evening event fitted well into their programme. For Cubs, excitement and adventure are key and planting trees ticks both those boxes!

    The final project was an exciting collaboration between Godalming Junior School and Roots for the Future. 13 of the school’s Eco Warriors planted trees in their local park. On the first day of spring the Warriors, aged from 8 to 10 years old, joined us to plant several trees of various species in Canon Bowrings Playing Grounds with the permission of Waverley Borough Council.

    For just under a year now, Godalming Juniors’ team of Eco Warriors has been working hard to help save the planet by being eco-friendly around the school whilst learning about the causes of and solutions to climate change. Planting with the Eco Warriors from Godalming Junior is a perfect collaboration. These children are already passionate about the environment and will pass on what they learn through tree planting to their classmates.

    After exploring the park and the other large trees already there, we got down to planting. Team work makes the dream work and the children planted in pairs. At first the children were a little reluctant to get their hands into the dirt but once they felt how satisfying it is to get stuck in, they really enjoyed it. We planted two oak, two field maple and two lime trees, all around five feet tall.

    We had a great conversation about what we can all do in the fight against climate change such as flying less, driving less, taking public transport, eating less meat, switching energy providers to 100% renewable. We also talked about Greta Thunberg and how she began a solo protest in Sweden in August and has since inspired students around the globe in more than 100 countries to go on “strike”, demanding the political elite urgently address what they say is a climate emergency. She is the 16-year-old activist who set up the fast-growing School Strikes 4 Climate Action and has been nominated for the nobel peace prize. One day one of the eco warriors might be nominated for a prize for their work saving the planet!

    Emily Martin, the Eco Warrior School Co-ordinate said: “The children are incredibly passionate about saving the planet; they have a huge amount of knowledge and they are always enthusiastic about learning more. This collaboration with Roots for the Future will encourage the children to think about their footprint in the wider community and it will give them environmental responsibility in the local park they use every day.”

    It is hard work digging deep holes but truly satisfying once the trees are in. The children planted two oaks, two field maple and two lime trees. Once all the trees were in they posed for photos for the Surrey Advertiser and made it into the paper! I love how proud they look.

     

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Francesca Fryer