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"Begin afresh, afresh, afresh"

"The trees are coming into leaf / Like something almost being said." 'The Trees' by Philip Larkin

Picture: The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire - David Hockney

Do you have a favourite tree? Maybe it’s one in your garden, or close to your home or at a place that is special to you. Trees so often have special connections with people and places, and we rightly get passionate about our trees when they are under threat. I'm sure we can all remember the protests and the press coverage that resulted from the felling of trees around the city when the council embarked on a road improvement scheme. More recently, many people around the country were shocked when for seemingly no reason the famous tree was felled at Sycamore Gap near Hadrian's Wall, a tree made famous in Kevin Coster's Robin Hood film. 

Trees, then, play a crucial role in our community and the Geography department at Bradfield School is delighted to be able to announce we're taking part in an ambitious scheme being organised by South Yorkshire's Mayor, Oliver Coppard. There are 1.4 million people living in our county and the mayor's office want to see a tree planted for every person - that's a really ambitious aim, but we're hoping to play our part in Worrall. So, we've signed up to get 300 trees delivered to school and we plan to get them planted on school grounds during the month of March. We think it will add to the beauty of our rural setting, play a small part in the battle against climate change and assist the fight against localised flooding. It's our plan to grow some of the trees at the far side of the school field and also put them around the edge of the tennis courts and close to the pond, a place which often floods. 

There will, however, be some trees left over. As part of the plan we submitted to the mayor's office, we hope to give some of the trees away to students at our school. This way, the community will further benefit from the tree planting as they can be placed in gardens around the area - and it's free of charge. Planting a tree can be such a wholesome family activity, as can watching it grow over the years. What a nice opportunity it is to be able to plant a tree now and in the coming decades reflect on the time spent at Bradfield School. Some people plant trees to remember loved ones and pets that have been lost - and if you would like to be part of this tree planting operation, for whatever reason, then all you have to do is sign up in the email we are sending home this week.

This will be a challenging project because we’re talking about a lot of trees, of many different varieties. But with your help, we can create a legacy that will live on within our community for decades to come. Although the saplings we will be planting will be small and fragile, they will one day grow into tall, strong, amazing trees we can all be proud of. And for me, that’s also a beautiful metaphor of the journey we hope all our students are on at our school.

P Naldrett

Geography teacher