Primary school pupils are learning about nature in a novel way – by nurturing their very own trees.
Pupils at 11 schools will cultivate saplings this winter before planting them at Conrhenny plantation in Lonan next March.
The schools are taking part in the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s annual Trees for Life initiative, which encourages children to learn more about trees, both in the classroom and while out and about.
Saplings distributed to the schools this month consist of five types of native deciduous tree – oak, ash, rowan, alder and silver birch.
Activity packs issued to teachers show the children how tall trees can grow and how to measure the height and age of a tree. Pupils will also learn about seeds, leaves and tree identification.
Brenda Cannell MHK, political Member for Forestry said: ‘We are all looking forward to the second week of March 2012 when around 500 children will visit the plantation to plant their trees. So far, over the last three years, we have already planted more than 1,500 trees through the scheme. It is great to involve children in practical learning and to get them out into the Manx countryside. Hopefully they will return in years to come to see how the trees are growing.’
Peter Karran MHK, Minister for Education and Children, commented: ‘This is the fourth cycle of the successful Trees for Life initiative and it supports many areas of the primary Essentials for Learning curriculum. The children are encouraged to make a positive contribution to society as well as being responsible and aware individuals.
‘Helping to sustain our environment through the planting of trees does just that. It not only teaches the children the importance of looking after our world but will also provide a beautiful area of woodland for years to come, of which the children can say they were a part.’