Volunteers go green with One Tree Per Child

Published 4 February 2020.

Volunteers network go green with One Tree Per Child

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Volunteers from across DE&S came together to plant native tree species at a local primary school under a Bristol City council scheme, One Tree Per Child.

Originally initiated in Australia, Bristol became the first council in the UK to launch the scheme in 2015. By planting trees in schools, parks and open spaces, the scheme’s aim was to have every child planting one tree as part of a primary school activity, and by the end of 2016, a total of 39,000 trees were planted.

Since then, the roots of the charity have gone from strength to strength, whilst relying on volunteers for their support.

Along with pupils aged nine and 10, teachers from Fair Furlong School and 20 volunteers from DE&S, helped to plant a wide selection of native trees in the school grounds. The volunteers were joined by representatives from One Tree Per Child, who donated the native species including hazel, hawthorn, rowan, silver birch, willow and cherry trees.

Typhoon delivery team environmental lead, Keith Woodbridge, said:

“We were delighted to offer our support to this exciting project, educating very young people in the benefits of a greener environment. Typhoon is a huge defence team and I was keen that we made our contribution to the Government’s Greening initiative.”

John Atkinson, One Tree Per Child Officer, said:

“You really feel like you’re making a difference. You see tangible results every day so it’s very rewarding and planting and maintaining trees is a fantastic learning resource. A lot of kids don’t cope too well in a classroom environment and getting them outside you can have some amazing conversations, not just about science, biology and botany, but also about art and maths. You can link anything into trees.”

Naming the trees as they planted them, the children enjoyed getting muddy and helping DE&S staff dig shallow holes for the trees to be planted in.

In between digging, nine-year-old Mason, said: “I want my little sister to grow up and go to this school and climb all the trees that we made.”

Aditi, who is 10, added: “I want other people to follow in our footsteps and plant more trees so we can help the environment.”

As well as the trees providing fruit for the children to pick, planting trees in their playing field will provide a habitat for wildlife to thrive in their playground.

Jonathan Jones, Typhoon Environmental Manager and lead organiser for the event, said:

“Trees play a pivotal role in the fight against climate change, cleaning our air, storing carbon and producing oxygen. We hope as many people as possible will follow our example and get involved with similar schemes. A trillion trees planted in the coming years could significantly reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, potentially by up to 25 per cent.”

Each DE&S volunteer donated £25 each to take part, raising £400 for the Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation, a charitable partnership between Bristol and Bath Parks aimed at supporting local communities, improving their local green spaces and promoting wellbeing.

Christian Lang, Deputy Head of Fair Furlong school, said: “We had a really successful day with the DE&S volunteers and One Tree Per Child. A lot of our kids spend lots of time indoors so it was great to give them the opportunity to be part of this project, getting them outside and doing something physical and fun as well as creating an environment that they’ve had influence on and they can be proud of.”

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