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Students planting trees outside Featherstone High School

Trees provide pupils with new branches of learning

Schoolchildren of all ages came together this week to learn about the importance of trees in tackling air pollution in the borough, and to help plant two new trees outside one of the borough’s largest high schools.

The new trees were planted on Wednesday (1 November) outside Featherstone High School in Montague Waye, Southall.

Pupils from the high school were joined by younger children from Greenfields Nursery and Clifton Primary School – and a team from national charity Trees for Cities, who showed them all how to plant a street tree and how to maintain it and help it thrive. Armed with small shovels and protective gloves, the children – who ranged in age from just three up to 16 – rolled up their sleeves and enjoyed the hands-on experience.

Trees for Cities staff member explaining some tree facts to pupils outside Featherstone High School
Trees for Cities staff member explaining some tree facts to pupils outside Featherstone High School

Raksha Savadia, a teacher at Greenfield Nursery, said: “The children have absolutely loved being part of this and getting stuck in with planting a tree. At Greenfields we are very focused on providing children with experiential lessons where they can learn through hands-on activities, so this has been great for expanding their knowledge and understanding of trees and plants.”

For children from Clifton Primary, it was a chance for pupils to get up close to nature. For a school of more than 500 pupils, its grounds have limited outdoor playground space and no green areas for children to easily learn about trees and wildlife.

One Clifton pupil, Armanpreet, said: “Putting the soil in was hard work and dirty but I liked it;” and fellow student Prabneet echoed this excitement: “It was a really fun experience. Hopefully the tree will grow as big as a bus.”

Head boy at Featherstone High School, Rayyan, said: “It has been a blast helping plant these trees with the other kids and it feels great making a contribution to society;”, and fellow student Shabina agreed: “It was so nice to help the little children with planting the trees and It has given me a renewed feeling of responsibility to help out more in my community.”

The project is part of a UK-wide initiative, developed by Trees for Cities in partnership with New World Payphones. New World Payphones is replacing ageing phone boxes with touch-screen kiosks and, for every phone box upgraded, a new tree will be planted, with a nationwide total of at least 500. Trees for Cities will maintain the trees for three years before training staff at New World Payphones, who will then take over their care.

For more information on tree planting in the borough and how the council manages the area’s street trees, visit the council’s tree pages on its website.

Conservation volunteering with Ealing’s park rangers

There is often an opportunity to get involved and do something to help the wildlife of Ealing, working with the council’s ranger teams to carry out a variety of practical conservation tasks in nature reserves and green spaces all over the borough. Conservation work tends to be seasonal so you will get the opportunity to do a variety of activities depending on the time of year.

For more information contact the leisure and parks service at parks@ealing.gov.uk

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