Thanks to the generosity of the Hall Hunter Foundation an exciting new collaboration between Roots for the Future, Tuesley Farm and a Godalming primary school is taking place during National Tree Week.
Roots for the Future, a Godalming based tree planting social enterprise, is bringing two classes of Key Stage 2 pupils from St Mark’s and All Saints School over to Tuesley Farm’s is new field of blueberries. The pupils will be assisting Hall Hunter employees in planting new native hedgerows criss-crossing the rows of blueberry plants.
Over the course of two afternoons, on Monday 30th November and Tuesday 1st December, the children will be planting hazel, hornbeam, whitebeam and dogrose, which will be interspersed with larger oak, and holly, blackthorn and hawthorn, which the adults will plant in case of prickles!
Hall Hunter aims to grow the best quality soft fruit available in the UK on their farms, and encouraging biodiversity plays a huge role in this. In an effort to support Britain’s wildlife, the farm ensures it provides 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. That aside the kids love picking our delicious berries.”
The children will have the opportunity to learn about sustainability, biodiversity and the role we all have in halting catastrophic climate change.
Francesca Fryer Rigden, co-founder and director of Roots for the Future said:
“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. 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.”
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. At St Mark and All Saints we foster a love of outdoor learning from Nursery through to Year 6, with real life experiences such as this being key to ensuring children develop an inquisitive, reflective approach to learning. 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.”
Roots for the Future brings people together to plant trees near to where they live, work, learn and play. Planting trees is an effective way to tackle local environmental problems such as flooding and poor air quality, and it strengthens communities.
Hall Hunter Partnership is a family business, locally running Tuesley Farm. Started in 1966, the business is now one of the UK’s leading producers of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. The Hall Hunter Foundation was set up in 2011 and raises funds in support of good causes which are then donated to a range of local charities.
St Mark and All Saints C of E Primary and Nursery school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities which include gardening club and forest school. The school has an extensive field with an allotment area, large polytunnel and small farm that houses chickens, two goats called Nancy & Geraldine and Onion the pig! Each class is named after a tree to reflect the school’s respect for the natural world and has their own Forest School session each week in addition to daily outdoor learning.
National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration. This year it’s taking place 28 November – 6 December. National Tree Week was established in March 1975 by The Tree Council to support national replanting of trees after the outbreak of Dutch Elm disease. Each year, upward of a quarter of a million people don their boots and gloves and come together to plant trees.
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Francesca Fryer Rigden