Thomas A Becket School, Worthing, West Sussex
Thomas A Becket Middle School
They joined the School Tree Nursery Programme in Autumn 2007 as part of their Eco-Schools work. They felt that the STN programme would be a perfect way of involving all our pupils in environmental restoration work.
Over 4 days in early December they planted in 800 saplings, with every pupil and class teacher coming out to the nursery to plant in and label their tree – They have 4 species of trees- Rowan, Hornbeam, Elder and Oak.
Through taking part in the School Tree Nursery Programme they have been able to focus the pupils attention on the importance of trees to our planet. They have achieved this through providing additional information via dedicated ‘tree notice boards’ both outside at the nursery and also in the main school corridor. Their year six pupils watched a production of ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ which was performed by the brilliant Puppet State Theatre Company who are currently touring with this show. In addition to this, one of their year 4 classes is soon to do their class assembly which is ‘eco’ based and contains a large section on their tree work and its importance to our planet.
Out-Plantings – Winter 2009
In the New Year they had three out-plantings planned which will see around 200 of their trees being out-planted into their final growing places.
In late January they are working with the Sussex Wildlife Trust to plant Oak trees into new hedgerows on farmland near Petworth, West Sussex. The main purpose of which is to increase habitat and flight paths for bats that are known to live in the surrounding ancient woodland.
In early February they are going to out-plant around 50 of their trees into the RSPB Reserve at Pulborough. Around 35 are going to be planted together in a field site adjacent to an established hedgerow and the remainder are going to be planted into an existing hedgerow to help thicken it up.
Their third out-planting is being done with the support and assistance of Worthing Borough Council who have found a site about a mile away from our school. It is a large recreation field at the foot of the South Downs. They are planning to plant 100 of our trees into this parkland site to form a copse area.
All three of these out-plantings will bring huge benefits for the wildlife of the surrounding areas. They will involve as many pupils as possible in each out-plantings to ensure they are able to fully understand the benefits and effects that their trees will have on the future of our planet.