Thanks to the generosity of the Hall Hunter Foundation, two classes of Key Stage 2 pupils from St Mark’s and All Saints School planted hazel trees on Tuesley farm to celebrate National tree week. The pupils  assisted Hall Hunter employees in planting new native hedgerows criss-crossing the rows of blueberry plants.

Over the course of two afternoons the children got to take time out of their regular school day to be out in the fresh air, learning about trees and all the benefits they bring us. The children discussed what they knew about trees, hedges, pollination and environmental issues (quite a lot) before getting stuck in.

Speaking of getting stuck in, day one was pretty wet and very muddy!

Day two was remarkably different! The sun came out making it slightly less muddy. What a difference a day makes.

The children planted hazel, but there will also be hornbeam, whitebeam and dogrose, which will be interspersed with larger oak, and holly, blackthorn and hawthorn, which the farm’s employees will plant.

In order to grow the best quality soft fruit on their farms, Hall Hunter aims to encourage biodiversity, which also supports Britain’s wildlife. The farms ensure there are habitats for various species by planting trees, hedges and wildflowers.

Harry Hall, Managing Partner of Hall Hunter:

“We’re passionate about growing berries and creating the right environment for people and nature to thrive. We love bringing children onto our farms to learn about berry growing and where their local food comes from. The opportunity to show visitors how nature and farming can co-exist in a balanced ecosystem is an energising experience for all.”

Children love to plant trees! They always leave our workshops invigorated, having spent a wonderful couple of hours digging, planting and learning in the outdoors.

Caroline Mallett, Headteacher of St Mark and All Saints Primary School and Nursery said:

“Roots for the Future and Hall Hunter have provided our children with an amazing opportunity to experience, first-hand, what farming responsibly can look like. In seeing how principles of sustainability can be played out on a much larger scale through this project it enables our children to make the links between their learning in school and the impact they can have on the environment in the future.”

Our workshops are designed to show how trees and plants are the fundamental basis of all life, and crucial to maintaining a sustainable environment. We envisage that the children and young people who plant trees and hedges with us will be inspired to address climate change with environmental solutions.

We are delighted we were able to celebrate National tree week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, by holding these two workshops with St Mark and All Saints school. Given the pandemic, far fewer tree planting events are taking place, even though it has never been more important to plant trees. As well as the global health emergency, we have a climate emergency. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world (ranked 189 out of 218). Tree planting is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways of tackling both climate change and declining biodiversity.

We can’t stop planting! Get in touch to find out how your school or community group can get involved with tree planting.