Bede’s School has pledged to plant 1,200 trees by the end of term (25 March) at the Senior School site in Upper Dicker with a further planting of some 800 trees will take place later in autumn.
The tree-planting initiative is the result of a generous donation from a former parent at the School. This is one of the many environmental initiatives that Bede’s School is currently involved in. From biomass boilers, to carbon reduction plans, avoiding single-use plastics, energy monitoring and wildlife conservation through their zoo, Bede’s is doing everything they can to make the school greener and more sustainable. The trees are being planted as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative as a celebration of the Platinum Jubilee this year. The initiative invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.
The 2,000 trees being planted at the Senior School represent every pupil and staff member within the Trust, with the first 1,200 representing the pupils. There has also been a further 250 trees donated by parents within the Bede’s community. This initiative provides both Senior School and Prep School pupils with the opportunity to contribute to a greener landscape, and leave behind something that will be a part of the Upper Dicker village forever.
The initial 1,200 trees are being delivered in several batches and include Field Maple, Wild Cherry, Silver Birch and Rowan. These specific trees were carefully selected after consulting with a local environmental services contractor. They provided a list of native Sussex trees that encourage birds, wildlife and berries. The bare root trees were acquired directly from English Woodlands.
This project has been brought to life by the Grounds team at Bede’s, who have thought carefully about the placement of the trees. They have ensured a 3-metre radius for each tree to guarantee no overshadowing and the trees have all of the sunlight and space they need to grow. There has been a 12-metre island left in the centre of the trees which will eventually be home to a plaque to commemorate the tree planting experience of 2022.
The trees are being planted in batches of 400 at a time, giving every pupil the opportunity to plant a tree. The pupils have been writing their names and attaching them to their planted tree. They have been planted alongside biodegradable rabbit spirals. Already over the course of the last few weeks, the trees are coming into bud and bloom.
Bede’s Senior School Headmaster, Peter Goodyer comments, “I am very proud of our community for putting this initiative into action. It has not been an easy task but as always, our community’s enthusiasm and determination remain unwavering. Every tree that is being planted makes a difference in the fight against climate change. Our newly planted trees will be enjoyed for many future generations to come.”