Growing partnerships and trees at Warout woods in Glenrothes
Warout woods saw the addition of 90 new trees planted by around pupils aged between 10 – 12 from Warout Primary School. The trees were provided by Greenbelt, who manage the woodland. The Ecology Centre's Education team have been working with the school for a number of years and currently make use of the woodland in their outdoor learning sessions.
Education Officer, Calum Murray approached Greenbelt as the children have been working towards the conservation element of their John Muir Award. He thought this would be a great opportunity for the children to give something back to the woodland and gain a sense of stewardship of their local area. Greenbelt responded by kindly donating the trees.
The trees are a mix of indigenous species (including Scots pine, Cherry prunis and Alnus-alder), specially selected by Greenbelt’s most senior arborist to be hardy and complimentary to the ecology of the established woodland.
A central, accessible pocket of woodland just a short walk from the school was identified as an ideal site – meaning that pupils will be able to visit their own individual sapling to watch it grow and change over time.
Over several sessions the classes have been hard at work with their conservation efforts. They’ve undertaken a litter pick in the woodland and with the help of Greenbelt three areas were cleared of brambles ready for the children to plant. All of the kids worked hard to plant the trees and each one planted was given a name. The kids will now be able to visit these trees again throughout their lives and track their own growth against the trees. The tree planting has helped the children gain practical skills as well as increase their resiliency, wellbeing and a sense of stewardship caring for their local woodland. Work will continue through this partnership with plans for scattering wild flower seeds, bird boxes and ongoing litter picks in place.
Calum said “It’s been great to see the relationship between these kids and nature grow. They’ve all worked so hard to gain their John Muir Award and their conservation efforts have made a real difference here. While we were litter picking members of the public would pass by and tell them ‘Thank you, you’re doing a great job’. They’ve certainly improved biodiversity in this woodland and made a great improvement. Massive thanks to Greenbelt for partnering with us on this and donating the trees.”
Janet McQuillan, Greenbelt’s Director of Services, praised the co-operation with The Ecology Centre: “These planting works benefit the local community as well as the landscape. The pupils of Warout Primary School aren’t just learning about trees and nature, but community spirit and life skills too. If even just a handful of these children are inspired to consider a career in conservation or take up a new outdoor hobby, it’s worth it."
From L to R - staff and P6/7 children from Warout Primary School with Stephen Morgan from Esk Valley Landscapes and Calum Murray from The Ecology Centre
The trees ready for planting
Britain’s leading land management company has donated 100 trees to primary schoolchildren in Glenrothes, Fife, as part of their environmental education.
Greenbelt has offices in Leeds and Glasgow, and currently caters to 56,000 households across the UK.
The company primarily manages public open spaces on new residential housing estates – but is also experienced in sustainable urban drainage systems, as well as servicing roads, lighting, landscapes and play facilities.
Additionally, Greenbelt manages more than 50 distinct pockets of woodland in and around the Glenrothes area, in conjunction with the Woodland Trust.
Each compartment is unique in terms of size, location, footprint and conditions – which is why a bespoke woodland management plan is required for sustainable care in the long-term.