Planting day at Durham High School for Girls
Innovative renewable energy specialists Newform Energy teamed up with Tree Appeal, pledging to plant native broad leaved saplings into local schools. One of the lucky recipients of the sponsored trees was Durham High School for Girls - a private education establishment dating back to 1884.
The staff of Newform Energy joined representatives from Tree Appeal and their patron Professor David Bellamy, to help staff and students plant fifty trees in their grounds.
Professor Bellamy was thrilled to return to the school, having once attended a ball there and had the last dance with the then headmistress, Irene Salter. He recalled fond memories of his first visit to Durham High School as he addressed the senior assembly, before sharing with them the importance of preserving our valuable planet.
“It was a fantastic idea for the teachers to take us planting trees with David Bellamy. Vanya, Hannah & I were slow planting the trees but we enjoyed it.” Laura Selbarajah
The entire team were then joined by girls from Year 5, who donned their wellies and had spades at the ready, keen to introduce the trees to their new home. Despite a rainy and blustery start to the day, the sun fought its way through the clouds, allowing the enthusiastic team of budding botanists to plant their trees without getting wet!
As they grow, the saplings will form a picturesque border along the green strip that lines the school’s exit. They will act as a barrier between the grounds and the busy main road, as well as providing shade when the space is occassionaly used as an overflow carpark for school events.
“I didn’t know that bunnies eat the bottom of trees so we had to put a tube around it. If you cut a worm part lives and parts dies." Ellie Greenhow
Pupils and their parents will be able to see the planted trees as they drive home each night, which means they can monitor the growth of the saplings every step of the way, as well as see how they are affected by the changing seasons.
Additionally, it is hoped that the new saplings will help the school to achieve Green Flag status, as part of their participation in the Eco-Schools initiative.
The school take a keen interest in the environment and constantly strive to improve the quality of their surroundings.
“I did not know that worms make compost and the trees. I really enjoyed getting my hands muddy!” Anna Layfield
“I had a really good time. It was informative and interesting. I didn’t realise how some trees are evergreen and some are not.” Varsha Krishnan
Committee member of the school’s own eco club, Mr Wright, said “We have recently installed recycling bins in all of the classrooms and we recycle waste from the kitchens as compost. We also encourage energy saving by switching off any unnecessary devices, especially lightbulbs.” This was the first opportunity for many of the pupils to be actively involved in tree planting, although the school have close links with local community projects which take their pupils into nature’s own classroom of the great outdoors.
By sponsoring the trees, Newform Energy have helped Tree Appeal with their important mission of ‘growing trees, growing minds.’