A wood where once there was a field

Greenacres Primary was an early recipient of Tree Appeal trees. In 2019 we got a chance to compare pictures before and after...

Greenacres 2008

2008 - Greenacres Primary school grounds, just after planting their first batch of Tree Appeal saplings.

Greenacres 2019

2019 - The same view a decade later with well established birch, rowan, hawthorn and willow.

In 2007 and again in 2008 Greenacres Primary in Shrewsbury received batches of trees from Tree Appeal. Several hundred saplings, a mix of silver birch, downy birch, rowan, willow, hawthorn, green beech and English oak were planted in the grounds. Luckily some photographs were taken so we can see how well the trees have done over the years.

Greenacres Primary School is at the northern end of Shrewsbury and sits between a new and expanding industrial estate and the established industrial units and housing in that part of town. The school is fortunate to have a sizeable school field which has allowed them to plant a large number of trees over the years.

Planting of trees initially began after the erection of an eight foot galvanised security fence around the site. It was hoped to soften the look of the new security measures and provide a small wildlife area. The success of this original planting raised the possibility of creating something much larger for the school and for the wider community.

Head Teacher, Mr Simon Hey explains, "From those initial limited planting sessions, our aims have been to provide a secure curriculum resource we can access without having to travel, to provide biodiversity on what was a large expanse of mown grass, help drain parts of the field which was waterlogged by using willow, only plant native species and provide a Forest School area within our grounds. We also just like trees and watching the seasons go by".

The site now has rabbits, squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, a wide variety of birds including buzzards, a bee hive and lots of insect life. It is now one of the largest areas of woodland in the north of Shrewsbury.

This autumn Greenacres will be planting another batch of 100 Tree Appeal saplings. The trees being planted in 2019 will be mostly birch and rowan, species which have proven to grow well in that location. They will be used to widen and extend some of the planting areas in the north west corner of the site.

Let's hope the pictures in 2029 tell an even better story!