Pupils from South Malling School in Lewes swapped the classroom for the great outdoors last Thursday [11 July] to help plant 11 native trees on South Downs Road. The trees were provided by River Oaks Homes as part of its Southdowns Park development; a regeneration project of 101 homes and apartments opposite Malling Fields.
The Year Three students worked in small teams to plant the native lime trees, alongside staff from River Oaks Homes and local gardener, Charlie Harrison “The Flora Man”. After been given an educational speech by Charlie, the students aged between 7-8 years were shown how to plant the trees, which now sit along South Downs Road. Each pupil was able to hang a small copper tag self-engraved with their owns names, so they can revisit their tree anytime.
Maxine Hunt, Outdoor Learning Coordinator and teacher at South Malling Primary and Nursery School, said: “The children loved the experience of planting trees, they could not wait to share what they had learnt with the rest of their class. Trees are a great natural teaching resource and the children will be able to watch them grow for years to come.”
Oliver Charmak, Director of River Oaks Homes, said: “We had a great time with the South Malling pupils who loved helping to plant the trees. They asked lots of questions, and it was great to see their enthusiasm.
“We planted these native trees alongside South Downs Road to create a sustainable landscape that blends with the natural surroundings and provides a wildlife sanctuary for the new development and its residents. I want to thank staff and pupils at South Malling School for their help, and hard work on helping to plant these vital trees.”
The development, which will include 74 apartments, 22 houses and 150m2 of commercial space, is on the corner of Southdown Road and Meyhew Way in Lewes, East Sussex. It will offer a range of high-quality, modern homes to meet the needs of local people and create an overall increase in biodiversity, thanks to its extensive landscaping and green plans.