It's a small step, but it's a start.
We had a fantastic morning at school on 28 February - the culmination of the tree appeal.
Connor Freeman and his team at the Green Man Nursery have been very supportive of the initiative, giving up their time to graft all these trees, and coming in to school to explain the process. The pupils learned about fruit tree grafting - taking the rootstock of a hardy but not very tasty apple variety, and grafting it to a tastier but less hardy variety - and what they now need to do to make sure the tree thrives. They then got busy potting up their newly grafted heritage apple trees and took them home to watch them grow. All being well, the trees should reward their efforts with juicy eaters - but, in a valuable lesson in patience, they will have to wait 3-4 years!
The trees will be ready to plant out in gardens next spring. St Mary's Church is working with the school to create a community outdoor learning and worship space - and this will offer a permanent home to some of those trees if children are not able to keep them at home.
Mrs McFarlane, Headteacher: “At School the children have become increasingly concerned with how we are damaging the environment and what we can do to help improve the situation. They were wanting to take action and were looking for where and how they could plant extra trees in the local area. This opportunity provided by the Green Man Nursery has been amazing.
“The children have all understood why the grafting process is essential to be able to grow strong and healthy trees and have learnt first-hand how to care for their trees so that the trees have the maximum chance of growing successfully. The staff from Green Man Nursery have been fantastic at explaining the process to the children and supporting them in their planting.
“We are also very lucky to have such a dedicated team of parents and supporters to enable this opportunity to happen. It has been a collaborative effort with the school, the community and the Church. Thank you to everyone involved for inspiring so many children to make a difference in this part of our world.”
A huge thank you to all those who have given generously so that each child at Padbury CE School be given a tree:
Green Man Tree and Shrub Nursery
New Star Games
Asana Warriors Yoga
NFU Mutual (Aylesbury)
Frosts Garden Centre
and many, many individual donors