Planting day at West London Academy - Revisited

June 2010

In the past two years, West London Academy have planted approximately 2500 Tree Appeal trees in their extensive grounds. The planting site is known as the Academy Fields and is currently undergoing many exciting developments to become an outdoor education and environmental learning space.

Set in over five acres of land, this impressive outdoor space has already undergone an extensive programme of tree planting and includes a large pond, a weather station and two covered outdoor classrooms, with seating for sixty students. The Academy Fields sit adjacent to the busy A40, but whilst walking around the location, it would be hard to feel further away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Environmental education is an essential part of the West London Academy’s curriculum. Many of their students live in the urban city environment and have limited access to gardens or other wildlife habitats. The school are committed to developing this safe haven for their pupils to explore the natural world and experience a hands-on approach to learning about the environment.

In the near future, they also plan to develop allotments for food growing projects and build a Fit Trail.

On 15th June 2010, the Tree Appeal team and Professor David Bellamy revisited West London Academy, to check the progress of the planted saplings.

We battled against the hectic London traffic to make it to the school and received a very warm welcome when we finally arrived! We were joined by representatives from several of our corporate partners, some of whom have previously sponsored saplings to be planted at this location.

Professor Bellamy assembled pupils from Year 4 and 5, to talk to them about the importance of planting trees and deliver the message about our valuable biodiversity.

After a tour of the stunning Academy Fields, Tree Appeal and our partners teamed up with the teachers and children of the West London Academy to plant five feature trees. The trees were oak, ash, beech, rowan and silver birch and will form a picturesque border along the edge of the main planting site, where 100 further saplings will be planted by the children.

The planting was presided over by a hungry kestrel, who hovered above the Academy Fields whilst we were busy planting. Its presence there was evidence that voles and other small mammals are residing in the grounds and will find shelter from these birds of prey in the trees we’ve planted. We were thrilled to see that the existing saplings were progressing well and have clearly found an ideal home in a beautiful spot.

The day was a perfect opportunity for our Tree Appeal partners to see the benefits of planting trees into schools and to meet the dedicated and enthusiastic recipients of the saplings they donate.

A fantastic day was had by all and our thanks go to everyone who came along, as well as to the staff and students of West London Academy for their hospitality and for doing such a wonderful job of looking after the trees.

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