Sheffield’s new 15-year trees and woodlands strategy was approved last November, and the council committed to planting an additional 100,000 trees within the first ten years, adding to the city’s impressive seven trees per person.
Two classes of year three children from Pipworth Community Primary School came out in force last Wednesday (9 January) at the local recreation ground and Manor Playing Fields to plant around 300 new trees. These are the first of 2,000 planned to be planted at the site.
And, yesterday children from Bradway Primary School gathered at the old school playing fields to plant five large trees, in replacement of some that were damaged in recent extreme weather.
The site is well known for being waterlogged, so species that thrive in wet conditions such as black poplar, silver maple and cut leaf alder, were planted.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the children who came out and worked so hard at both tree planting events.
“We made a commitment in our new trees and woodlands strategy to plant 100,000 more trees in the next ten years and I’m delighted to see this has begun so quickly.
“Each time we plant new trees, we look at the surroundings and environment to make sure we are planting the right kind of trees, this way they can thrive, providing environmental benefits and enjoyment for generations to come.
“There will be many more community tree plantings coming up, which we’ll share as and when they happen, and we’d love to see lots of people get involved to help us invest in an even greener Sheffield.”
Around 50 children took part in the tree planting at Pipworth Recreation Ground, where sustainable urban drainage development was recently carried out, allowing the first stage of woodland creation to take place. The children planted native transplant trees including oak, birch, mountain ash, cherry, hazel and crab apple. The new planting will establish a valuable extension of the existing ancient woodland at nearby Bowden Housteads Woods, very close to the Trans Pennine Trail.
Kelsi-Mae, year three pupil at Pipworth Community Primary School said: “I really enjoyed the planting because it helped me practice my team work skills. It is so important for people to have a nice clean environment and it’s good for animals too!”
Paul Stockley, Head Teacher at Bradway Primary School said: “At Bradway we believe that children need to understand the interdependence of all living things, including trees. By planting trees today the children learned much about how important they are to keeping the planet healthy.”
In celebration of the Jewish festival of planting, Tu B’Shevat – The New Year of Trees, more trees will be planted with the Jewish community at Manor Playing Fields on Sunday 20 January. This will continue the work that the school children started towards the planting of 2000 trees at the site.
A further public planting will also be held at Manor Playing Fields on Saturday 2 February between 10.30am to 1pm. Everyone is welcome to come along on the day.
Parking is available on Saxonlea Avenue and the site can be accessed by the main gates on the road near the play areas.
More information about upcoming community forestry events will be shared through the Sheffield Parks and Countryside Facebook page.