It’s the start of a new year and although things have been a bit quiet on the allotment for the last few months, there has been plenty going on behind the scenes to get excited about.
Oakridge School is leading a new community initiative called The Shared School Woodland Project. The children will be collaborating with other children from schools including Bisley, Christchurch Chalford, Thrupp, Brimscombe, Rodborough, Minchinhampton and Thomas Keble, and together they are to plant a new woodland. It’s a really exciting opportunity for all involved.
After a lengthy search to find a suitable piece of land, we got the nod that there was a site in Chalford. We approached the landowner and they were extremely enthusiastic about the idea. They very kindly agreed to donate one of their fields. We are currently in the process of clearing the site, organising a tree survey and setting up a joint fundraising campaign on behalf of all the schools involved.
The project will be using trees that Oakridge School acquired from the Woodland Trust’s Free Trees for Schools. Planting is due to take place at the end of March, when children from all the different schools will be invited to take part.
The scheme will help establish relationships between different schools in the area and promote a cross over in learning opportunities. By creating an umbrella under which schools can share the work they are currently doing within the environmental curriculum, a larger community can evolve. Everyone who is a part of that community will feel the full support and mutual benefits of it.
The woodland will provide a physical space where groups of children from different schools can meet, talk, share ideas, values and express their opinions within a safe environment. It will represent one mind, one 7 purpose and one common thought between different teachers, parents and children. It will act as a nucleus where individual schools can act as a collective whole and do something for the better good of the environment, as well as making a valid contribution to the local community.
After school gardening sessions at Oakridge start again after February half term. With Spring approaching, there’s a great deal to look forward to. A big thank you to everybody who has continued to support our venture. Everyone is always welcome at the allotment to see all the good things the children are doing.