Asquith pupils dig in to help with community orchard

Pupils from Asquith Primary School taking part in the tree planting event
Pupils from Asquith Primary School taking part in the tree planting event

Pupils from Asquith Primary School in Mansfield took part in a tree planting event on their local park, creating an orchard and an edible hedgerow, for the benefit of the whole community. More than 80 children from years three and four worked in small teams, supported by school, Greenwood Community Forest and council staff, to plant the community orchard as part of the Trees For Learning Project.

The Greenwood Community Forest, one of 12 community forest initiatives in England, helped the school and council plan and plant the orchard thanks to Defra funding.

The Greenwood team also plan to return in the summer term to deliver a learning activity related to the new trees.

The Greenwood Community Forest covers 161 square miles, mainly between

Nottingham and Mansfield and stretching from Eastwood in the west to Farnsfield in the

east.

Nic Wort, project officer for Greenwood, said: “The Greenwood team is committed to supporting schools to plant trees and working with Defra and England’s Community Forests has helped us to reach even more schools, encouraging them to plant native trees in their school grounds and parks.

“Creating a logo and naming the park all helps to reconnect the children with nature and remember what a great experience they had.

“Hopefully we are creating future green guardians of our parks and green spaces”.

Following the planting, the school ran a competition for the pupils to name the orchard and design a logo.

A winning entry was drawn in each category and the result is that the orchard will now be called Jackson’s Fruity Wood.

The logo and the orchard name will be used to create a new sign for the orchard.

Coun Andy Sissons, from Nottinghamshire County Council, provided money from his divisional funds, to purchase prizes for the competition, as well as making the presentation to the two winning pupils.

The winners were awarded prizes at an assembly and both were also presented with a framed version of the new sign to be installed on the park, as well as a craft set and Easter egg.

Clare Harding, head teacher at the school, said “It has been a pleasure to work with so many of our community partners, to improve the park closest to the school.

“Naming the orchard and designing the logo will help the school children have a sense of ownership of Jackson’s Fruity Wood.

“We hope our children will visit the park with their families to see the new sign, as well as returning with their classes.”