Plymouth Tree Partnership – The School Trees Programme
Plymouth Tree Partnership is offering assistance with tree and hedge planting in school grounds.
Launched at the start of 2009, the programme is known as “School Trees” and it is based on experience gained in individual schools over the last few years. This showed that many school governors, parents and teachers want their school grounds to be more park-like and with more opportunities to observe the natural world. Frequently, however, they need advice and support to make the improvements they want to see.
The “School Trees” programme aims to help schools in Plymouth use trees and hedges to best effect in their grounds. It has the following specific objectives:
What is involved?
To create more park-like settings, even where there are large areas of tarmac.
To involve teachers and children in selecting, planting and caring for trees, so that their knowledge and understanding of nature may deepen.
To provide habitats for wildlife.
When schools have a grounds’ improvement project in mind, they may contact the School Trees Co-ordination Team who are volunteer Tree Wardens. The team will arrange an initial meeting with the school and involve any others who might be able to assist (e.g. Tree Officer, arboriculturist or landscape architect). This meeting takes place in April or May and identifies what is required for a successful project.
There are some minimum requirements which apply to all projects and schools will be expected to commit to:
For projects taken into the programme, Plymouth Tree Partnership will commit to:
Appointing a member of staff to be the Tree Warden for the new trees and to be available as the point of contact throughout the project.
Involving a group of pupils in planting the new trees and providing aftercare until they are established; this may take five years or longer. During this time, the pupils should be encouraged to keep a record of their activities and the trees’ growth.
Accepting the trees as part of the school grounds.
How long will the programme run for?
Providing advice with tree selection, planting and aftercare.
Providing or helping to find funding for the trees and accessories (e.g. stakes and ties).
Providing a certificate and plaque suitable for presentation in an assembly.
The programme will run for as long as people want it and there is no end planned. New planting needs to be carefully thought out and implemented over a long period of time.
Who can take part?
Any school in Plymouth may contact the Programme Co-ordination Team to discuss proposals but there will be a limit on the number of schools that can be supported in any year. Schools currently engaged in the programme are shown here.
How is the programme funded?
The programme has been made possible by sales of the popular book “Plymouth’s Favourite Trees”. All profits are going towards new tree planting projects in the city and Plymouth Tree Partnership has made school grounds the first priority. In addition to the money from sales of “Plymouth’s Favourite Trees”, Plymouth Tree Partnership will work with schools to apply for funding grants from national conservation charities and other bodies. It is also inviting donations from businesses, groups and individuals who want to support the School Trees programme.
Is there a timetable?
Trees are best planted between November and February so planning and preparations have to be geared accordingly. A flow-chart of activities and their timings can be found here.
Once the trees have been planted, regular aftercare is needed to get them established and exact requirements will be advised for each school. Aftercare may be needed for up to five years or even longer depending on conditions at the planting sites. The Programme Co-ordinators will arrange a return visit one year after planting to see how the trees are progressing and to arrange a date for presenting the plaque and certificates.
Why the presentational certificates and plaques?
Activities to care for school grounds, including the planting and tending of trees, bring wide possibilities for teacher and pupil involvement. The presentational plaque and certificate are intended to recognise the initiative and active citizenship displayed by those taking part.
How do schools contact the Programme Co-ordination Team?
Schools wanting to take part in the programme should download and print an application form. Once completed please post it back to:
School Trees Programme Co-ordination Team
Plymouth Tree Partnership
6 Mannamead Road
Schools that wish to plant trees between November 2014 and February 2015 should return the form before 15th March 2014. Applications received after then will be considered for planting in the following years.
Please click the button to download the form: