Swindon Sixth Form Students join forces planting trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy

By Jessica Durston - 23 December 2021

EducationSecondary

United College Sixth Form, based at Swindon Academy, and Marlborough College Sixth Form students have planted 420 saplings as part of the two schools’ ongoing partnership.

30 students worked together to plant the trees at Granham Hill, an area of grassland owned by Marlborough College at the edge of the town centre, with a public footpath running through it.

The trees were donated by the Woodland Trust to Swindon Academy, and the project provided an opportunity for students to combat climate change and will leave a natural area for the benefit of wildlife.

The intention is that this environmentally focused project will be passed on from year to year, with students continuing to visit and look after the health of the trees as they grow, using a programme of cyclical maintenance.

Ruth Robinson, Executive Principal at Swindon Academy says: “This is an exciting, long term project which will help to maintain our close relationship with Marlborough College, bringing our students together in a practical activity, and creating a positive impact on the environment.”

“We are keen to get the next phase of the project moving in Swindon. Swindon Academy is planting fruit trees in our grounds, but we’re on the lookout for a local landowner – public or private - who could offer land for planting, in particular the Penhill and Pinehurst areas around the school."

Landowners who are interested in helping should contact Swindon Academy Geography Teacher, Will Clements, at will.clements@swindon-academy.org

Mr Clements said: "All of the students really enjoyed the afternoon. We planted a mix of rowan, oak, silver birch, maple and grey willow.

"The College gardens team will then tend to them to ensure proper growth over the next few years."

16-year-old Freya Isom of Swindon Academy said: "It was such a wonderful day. As a young person I was definitely keen to get involved with this project and do something positive for the environment, especially in the wake of COP26."

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique, UK-wide tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, by inviting people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.

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