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Children planting trees

More than 50 excited children from Badsey, Quinton and Bidford-on-Avon primary schools recently joined us for a ‘Fun in the Forest’ event, during which they listened to stories, explored nature on a woodland walk and learned how to plant trees.

Professional storyteller Fiona Collins enthralled the children with her tale of ‘Old Hearty’, a mighty oak who battled a greedy landowner with the help of countryman Jack and his mother. The children were particularly captivated by the part where they were encouraged to ‘blow in the hole and make a wish’ when planting new trees. This became a common sight later in the day when the children went on to plant their own trees.

Stephen talking to the childrenExploring the woods

The children also enjoyed a woodland walk with our Head Forester Stephen Coffey. He, too, held them spellbound as he talked about the number of trees we’ve planted and explained that though some were the same age as the children, others were hundreds of years old! He also introduced his excited audience to the joys of the flora and fauna that live among the woodland and around our ponds.

Planting for the future

Each child also got the opportunity to plant two oak trees under the guidance of our forestry team. They learned how to plant the saplings solidly, stamp down the earth around them, and safeguard them from hungry wildlife with a protective plastic sleeve – all this, of course, after ‘blowing in the hole and making a wish’!

The tree planting proved especially popular, with the children recognising the long-term importance of their work. Pupils from Badsey promised to be back soon with their parents to show them their handiwork, while others spoke of their excitement at watching their new saplings grow: “We’re going to come back in 20 years and see our trees.” We hope they’ll be back sooner than that and, judging by the fun they had on the day, we’re sure they will be!

To take your own school or children’s group out to the forest, get in touch on info@hoef.co.uk

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