Staff and students at Neale-Wade Academy had tree-mendous fun at a special planting event to show support for The Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative.

The initiative is a unique tree planting programme created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.

Staff and students at Neale-Wade Academy – including student helpers Isabelle, April, Sasha, Tyler and Vinnie from the school’s Eco Club and Bridge Unit – planted a small copse of trees at the front of the school, consisting of 30 trees and a dense hedge.

This greenery was kindly provided by Woodland Trust as part of the charity’s ‘Free Trees for Schools and Communities’ initiative which aims to give all schools across the UK the opportunity to plant trees to benefit both the environment and local community.

As well as the copse of trees, the school also planted a single specimen silver birch tree, supplied by March Town Council as part of jubilee celebrations in conjunction with three other Fenland schools – Cromwell Community College (also part of The Active Learning Trust), Sir Harry Smith Community College and Thomas Clarkson Academy.

All the plants used were British natives and were specifically chosen to enhance the local wildlife.

Graham Horn, Principal at Neale-Wade Academy, said: “It’s an honour to have been able to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in this way, all while developing a picturesque area at our school and creating a haven for local wildlife.

I would like to extend my thanks to our students who helped lead the event, and to our staff members, Mrs Holdich and Mr Tuffin, who supported with the removal of turf, planting trees, staking, adding rabbit guards to the tree trunks and the watering. We are thrilled with the new area and are pleased to be leaving a lasting legacy for the community and future generations to enjoy.”

Isabelle, a student at Neale-Wade Academy said: “I really enjoyed planting all the trees. My favourite part was digging the soil to make the hole for the tree. I think it is vitally important to plant trees as they will provide habitats for insects, and the birds and mammals will love the fruit, berries and nuts they produce.”

Stephen Chamberlain, Chief Executive Officer for The Active Learning Trust, said: “It is lovely to see Neale-Wade Academy taking part in this tree planting initiative. Involving our students is not only a great way for them to mark a significant national event, but will also help to improve biodiversity, support local wildlife and encourage them to become active citizens within their community.”

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