A GROUP of Shirebrook pupils have left a lasting legacy of their time at school by planting a copse of trees within the grounds of its new building.
Students at Shirebrook Academy have filled a 550sqm patch of ground with dozens of saplings, which, while still tiny, will grow into a small wood that will grace the Common Lane site for years to come.
The event was the idea of Shirebrook Academy’s head of humanities, Helen Newton, who took up an offer from the Woodland Trust for 60 free trees as part of the charity’s Jubilee Woods Tree Planting Challenge, which aims to plant six million new trees in 2012.
A plot of land, close to a path leading to the students’ entrance at the Academy’s new £27m building, which opens in March, was chosen and 22 students helped with the work.
Each pupil also drew a picture or wrote a thoughtful message on a label, to be attached to the stake supporting the tree to inspire future visitors.
The saplings are a mixture of birch, rowan and cherry trees, with one royal oak in the centre, and it will take around four years before they approach anything near maturity. By that time, pupil Kirsty Wilkinson (15), will have long left school, but she said that she welcomed the opportunity to plant a tree and leave a piece of her wisdom for others to enjoy in future years.
She said: “It was really good to be able to leave our legacy on the new site, especially since we won’t be in the new build very long. I really enjoyed it and I think everyone else enjoyed it, too.”
Helen added: “We had a lot of fun planting the trees. There was a lot of giggling from some of them who struggled to dig their holes, but all the trees are in and we are looking forward to seeing them as they grow.
“It’s really nice that this group of pupils are able to leave a lasting legacy at the site. There was a wide range of messages and hopefully they will make people stop and think when they walk among the trees.”