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School pupils dig deep to plant trees at Londonthorpe Woods in Grantham

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Green fingered pupils from a primary school did their bit to fight climate change as they planted trees at the Woodland Trust’s Londonthorpe Wood near Grantham.

The pupils from Belmont Community Primary School got 200 trees in the ground on the morning of Wednesday December 1, as part of the National Trust and Woodland Trust partnership project - Reconnecting Grantham.

Armed with trees, spades, gloves, and plenty of scarves to keep warm, the pupils enjoyed working together to reshape the look and feel of the border to Alma Park industrial estate, alongside improving biodiversity.

Pupils from Belmont Community Primary School were joined by parents, members of FOBS and the Woodland Trust as they planted trees. (53574435)
Pupils from Belmont Community Primary School were joined by parents, members of FOBS and the Woodland Trust as they planted trees. (53574435)

Their planting contributes to the 300 plus trees that were planted in December 2019 by the partnership volunteers on a snowy winter’s day.

The Woodland Trust’s community development officer, Dominic Fieldhouse, said it is all part of a developing partnership between the school and conservation charities’ project.

Earlier in the year, Belmont Community Primary School was the first school to use the outdoor classroom at Alma Wood, spending three days exploring the site and monitoring wildlife activity.

Mr Fieldhouse said: “Being able to work with Belmont Community Primary School gives their pupils the chance to plant trees that will be here for many years to come and is a great example of how we want to engage the local community to value this fantastic asset we have on our doorstep in Londonthorpe Woods and Belmont.”

The Friends of Belmont School (FOBS), a registered charity set up by parents to help with community events involving the school, were involved in organising the tree-planting, with members helping the children on the day.

Anna James, chair of the FOBS, said: "I initially contacted the Woodland Trust in September 2021 to receive advice regarding our re-development of the school’s Wildlife Area, part of our Co-op funding project.

"Paul Jarczewski (Site manager, Woodland Trust Central England) got in touch and we arranged a meeting – this was mainly to get his expertise, insight and advice on what FOBS should or could do in the woodland part of the school’s wildlife area in order to foster a diversity of wildlife by creating a suitable habitat, as well as ensuring that the trees and fauna will be representative of a British woodland.

"Following this meeting in October, Paul has mentioned that the Woodland Trust is running a campaign to plant trees, and he asked whether FOBS and the school would like to get involved.

"FOBS were very happy to liaise with the Woodland Trust and the school to organise the Tree Planting event, because this project complemented our aim of teaching children about the impact they can have on their environment.

"In addition to FOBS members, we invited local community members, as well as parents and volunteers to come along to help.

"It was great to see a great mix of people come together to support FOBS and the school to plant trees - Thank you to all who came!

"FOBS aim to continue to building our relationship with the Woodland Trust and hopefully, all this will help towards the school receiving the “Green Tree School Award” in the near future."

FOBS are also running a Christmas Market at the school on Friday December 10 from 2.45pm and 5.30pm and are appealing for volunteers and gazebos for the event.

Anna added: "People can support us by buying our FOBS Christmas Raffle tickets which are only £1 per ticket; there are over 30 prizes to be won."

If you can help with volunteering or would like to purchase a ticket, email: FriendsofBelmontSchool@belmont.lincs.sch.uk

The trees are contributing to the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback campaign which is looking to get as many people as possible planting over the next few months.

It is providing more than a million free trees to schools and communities across the country during autumn and spring. The trees will also contribute to the charity’s campaign to plant 50 million trees by 2025. Find out more here: Woodlandtrust.org.uk/bigclimatefightback

Reconnecting Grantham is majority funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, currently in its delivery phase.

The partnership project, led by the Woodland Trust and National Trust, aims to unite the historic landscape to the east of Belton House, making it accessible to a wider range of people and providing benefits including improved biodiversity, health and wellbeing, learning and skills. The charities’ hope is that this amazing landscape will become a much-loved community resource, benefitting the lives of local people and wildlife.

For further information and updates for the latest activities and events, such as guided walks, visit: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/ReconnectingGrantham or search Facebook for ‘Reconnecting Grantham’.

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