Trees of Hope

Students from Newtown College have recently been involved in a series of tree planting initiatives.

The Gateway to Education students have been learning about environmental issues and were pleased to be given support by two different organisations.

The first opportunity arose in support of the aims and objectives of the A483/A489 Newtown Bypass scheme to provide environmental enhancements and community engagement on the scheme. The principal contractor for the bypass, Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd and the schemes environmental consultants, TACP UK, joined forces with The Gateway students and the scheme’s landscaping contractor, Till Hill to plant a Museum Orchard on the College land adjacent to the Newtown Bypass. The orchard will provide a home for 50 apple and pear tree varieties of local and Welsh origin which have become rare and may die out if DNA and a living resource is not maintained for future generations.

It was a beautiful crisp cold morning when the Gateway group of students took a short walk up past Fronlas College Farm (part of Newtown College) to reach a small area of land where they were each given a young tree sapling and a spade.  In pairs, they set to work digging the frostbitten ground to plant a scattering of old Welsh apple and pear trees, which in time will become an orchard.  Representatives from Griffiths Contractors supported the students to plant 50 trees.

Gail Jones, Community Liaison Officer with Alun Griffiths Contractors Ltd said: “It has been lovely to be involved with the students to consider environmental issues. Griffiths are committed to the importance of the natural environment in terms of considering ways to balance development and sustainability. Planting trees is part of our efforts to consider air quality, carbon sequestration and looking after our biodiversity.”

The second initiative ‘Plant for the Future’ is part of the Woodland Trust Tree Charter which encourages young people to reconnect with nature.  The project to apply for the free trees was supported by PGCE student Suzy Kemp and involved planting a mixture of oak and silver birch trees at Newtown College.

The Woodland Trust’s Schools and Community Engagement Manager Karen Letten said:

Trees create inspiring learning spaces – natural, sustainable, and dynamic outdoor classrooms where learners can mix mud with maths and spades with science while connecting with nature and having fun.”

Sainsbury’s, IKEA FAMILY, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Yorkshire Tea are funding 1.8 million trees free to schools and education institutions in the UK as part of their ongoing partnerships with the Woodland Trust.

Visit the woodland trust website to find out more