Pupils from Haydock English Martyrs Catholic Primary School have helped plant a brand new woodland in their school grounds to kick off St.Helens' role in The Big Tree Plant, the national campaign to get more people planting and caring for trees.
Locally the campaign has set aside £255,000 over the next four years to support tree planting and get people involved in their environment across North Cheshire and Merseyside. The funding for the local area was secured by The Mersey Forest who will use the cash to help community groups and schools to brighten their neighbourhoods with new street trees, woodlands and mini-orchards.
Three classes from English Martyrs worked with The Mersey Forest to plant willows and hazels that can be coppiced and used in the future for weaving projects. The young participants also dug large pits for the roots of five young oak trees and Scots pines. The Mersey Forest also donated several black poplar trees which have been nurtured in their tree nursery at Griffin Wood, off Gorsey Lane near Clock Face.
"They kept telling us how much they loved it, and asking whether there were any more trees to plant!"
"It was a wonderful experience for the children, as well as a great way to teach them to love the environment," explains Karen Prescott, Head Teacher. "They kept telling us how much they loved it, and asking whether there were any more trees to plant!"
Helen Collins from The Mersey Forest, said "It was great to see the students getting involved. They worked for over an hour to dig the pits for the bigger trees, and got covered in mud, but weren't discouraged at all. They seemed to love it! They will be the ones enjoying the outcome of all of this hard work: a great new woodland."
The project to create the new woodland at the school was co-funded by The Woodland Trust through their MOREwoods project and by the St.Helens Landscape Fund,
available as a result of the new West East Link Pipeline being provided by United Utilities.