Form 6 dig for First World War centenary

Pupils have been busy planting trees to commemorate the end of the First World War.

Around 450 trees will be planted by Form 6 and Mr Martin to mark the 100th anniversary. The trees have been donated by the Woodland Trust as part of a £20 million centenary project created by the Trust and their leading sponsor Sainsbury’s.

Five varieties of trees native to Britain will be planted in the school grounds, including oak, rowan, blackthorn, grey willow and cherry.

Mr Martin showing Form 6 how to plant the tree

Mr Martin showing Form 6 how to plant the tree

The children worked as a team to dig, plant the trees and cover them with plastic guards which work as protection and a growth aid. Ben, Crispin, Rohaan, Ramsay, Jack and Dylan were given shovels to dig, whilst Madeline and Edward were in charge of handing out the plastic guards and extra trees.

Ilkley Primary - Digging

Ben and Jack digging

Ilkley Primary - Digging

Madeline and Edward

The trees will add to Ghyll Royd’s Forest Schools programme where pupils build skills through outdoor learning activities such as den making and campfire cooking.

Mr Martin said: “It’s a fantastic idea by the Woodland Trust and we’re very keen to get on board with it! Not only is it a great way for our children to learn more about our history, it gets them outside in the fresh air using manual skills to plant the trees. I’m sure when the trees start to grow our grounds will look even more spectacular and will be a reminder to our pupils and the daily commuters on Ilkley Road of the events of 100 years ago.”

Ilkley Primary - Digging

Hard at work

Timber was significantly important during the First World War as woods and trees kept home fires burning, powered the delivery of supplies to troops, camouflaged soldiers and also propped up the trenches in France. The aim of the Woodland Trust is to plant millions of native trees across the country. To find out more visit the Woodland Trust website.

We can’t wait to see the trees once they’ve all been planted. It will take many, many years but it will be wonderful to see the trees grow and flourish in our wonderful School grounds.

Ghyll Royd School, Pre-School and Nursery is an independent school for girls and boys aged 2 to 11 years and is an accredited member of the Independent Schools Association.