On Saturday, Roots for the Future held our very first tree planting workshop and we are delighted with how it went. Our pilot was timed to tie in with Earth Day and its theme of Trees for the Earth. Roots for the Future and a group of guides, brownies and rainbows, their parents and siblings were lucky enough to be invited to plant 45 tree saplings on the Birtley Estate in Bramley, South West Surrey.

Birtley Estate, the home of Surrey Hills Enterprise, has all sorts of activities which aim to let the public know what can be done with Surrey’s woodland for the benefit of the environment, community and the local economy.

We started off our workshop with some warm up games to learn each other’s names. The children got the chance to explore the surroundings on a little treasure hunt looking for different shaped leaves, something soft, something hard and something colourful.

The woodland where we planted our tree saplings has horse chestnut trees, alders and beech trees. And at this time of year, an abundance of bluebells!

After the games, onto the serious business of planting trees. We had three different species of tree saplings, wild cherry, beech and hornbeam, all indigenous.

The saplings are very small so need to be stabilised with a stake and protected from deer and rabbits with a guard.

Everyone had the chance to plant at least one sapling. Parents and Brownie leaders got involved too and with such an enthusiastic team of planters, we managed to plant several glades of trees in one afternoon.

Participants had the chance to put their own names on tree tags to show they had planted the tree and some chose dedicate their tree to someone special instead.

Some people bought tree saplings through Treebay for them to be planted for at our workshop. Treebay offers you the chance to buy a tree and dedicate it to someone you care about. You can buy a sapling for a gift and at the same time support our work.

It was a lovely day. The children and adults were kind enough to fill out feedback forms. Georgie told us she would tell her friends “it was very fun and I would advise them to come.” Emma said, when asked what is good about planting a tree, “it’s going to keep growing for years and years.” Elliot told us the only thing that would make the day even better would have been to have a barbecue.

The day and our work was featured in the Surrey Advertiser and on Get Surrey.