Along with these updates, you will find more information on our tree planting project here.

Tree Planting Project Update #9

May/June 2020

The tree planting project has led us to think about other aspects of increasing the biodiversity at our school. One of these is re-wilding, to make the green space more inhabitable and to supply food for insects, bugs, butterflies, birds and plants. We are trying this out on the front lawns of the school, allowing everything to grow until late August, when we will cut, compost (at the back of the school garden) and begin the process again.

During this first planting season at our school (November 2019 - May 2020) we have planted approximately 900 trees and hedge plants on our site!

Tree Planting Project Update #8

April/May 2020

Keyworker students in school during this period helped to finish planting the Hornbeam hedge plants along our perimeter fence.

Maintenance/watering is really important for the first two years after planting - to ensure that the trees become well established.

Tree Planting Project Update #7

1 April 2020

Toby Branston of Trees for Dorset came in to school to make a huge planter out of old railway sleeps which were discarded at the bottom of our school field. The planter now holds 3 double-flowering Cherry trees. 

Tree Planting Project Update #6

16 March 2020

We have gifted 40 Beech hedging plants and 20 Hornbeams to St Mary's Primary School for their hedge planting.

Tree Planting Project Update #5

6 March 2020

Two volunteers from Greening Swanage (Margaret and Nick) gave their time today to remove the large plastic protectors around the length of hedging along the East side of the school on Washpond Lane. These were installed 6 years ago and the hedges are now bursting out of them! There are a few hundred of these along the school perimeter on Washpond Lane, and it will take a few sessions to complete this task.

Tree Planting Project Update #4

2 March 2020: Tree Planting Day (Attempt 2!)

We had an amazing day on Monday 2nd March, planting with Trees for Dorset Volunteers who had helped to fund and order saplings for the front of the school.

100+ students took part, digging throughout the day to plant over 50 trees as well as over 100 hedge plant along our perimeter fence.

The students really engaged with all aspects, marking out, digging on pretty rough ground, staking and protecting each sapling. One student found a hundred year old penny coin with King George V dated 1920! Other students held earthworms for the first time!

The types of trees planted are all native to the UK: Wild Cherry, Field Maple, Rowan, Spindles, Silver Birch, Hawthorn, Aspen and Hornbeam.

The planting season is almost over for this year - but we have plans to maintain the tree over the coming year with Science students, Forest School and an after school club so that they continue to thrive.

Tree Planting Project Update #3

28 February 2020: Tree Planting Day!

Trees for Dorset have successfully secured some funding for our school project, from The Tree Council.

On Friday 28 February a team of leaders and volunteers from Trees for Dorset will be working with students all day to begin the planting on the lawns at the front of the school. 

We're hoping to have a non-school uniform day (to be confirmed) to raise money to contribute towards the project. 

We are requesting help from parents and carers on this day - lots of people are keen to get involved. 

We are reaching the end of the "dormant" time of year - so to get all of our saplings planted will be an excellent achievement going into the Spring.

[Sadly this event had to be postponed due to heavy rain.]

Tree Planting Project Update #2

12 December 2019: "Heeling In" with Forest School

Yesterday, regardless of really grim weather conditions, three students from Forest School helped Mr Lane "heel in" our tree saplings. "Heeling in" is a method of protecting the tree roots until they are planted. All bunches of saplings are placed into holes in the ground, lightly heeled in and watered. 


We then went inside to look at the plans of the school grounds and make preliminary decisions about which trees to plant in different positions around the school, e.g. Bird Cherry and Rowan trees to be planted along the wall nearest the road as they will provide an amazing display of blossom and berries through the year. Alder tress (which love wet conditions) will be positioned at the bottom of the field where water collects in the soil. 

Tree Planting Project Update #1

4th December 2019: Delivery day!


Last week we were excited to take delivery of 200 'free trees' we ordered from the "I Dig Trees" initiative set up by The Conservation Volunteers organisation.

All of the trees are native to Britain and include Oak, Silver Birch, Rowan, Hornbeam and Bird Cherry varieties.

We are aiming to enhance the appearance of the front of our school and field whilst simultaneously increasing all the positive elements associated with trees, such as improving air quality, increasing habitats for hundreds for insects, birds and wildlife, and improving soil quality. 

The School is involved with a local community group, Greening Swanage (see Sustainable Swanage on Facebook for more information) who are trying to increase the amount of trees in our town through their campaign "A Tree for Every Child in Swanage", to support Dorset Council's Green Infrastructure Policy. 

You can find more information on our project on our main Tree Planting Project page.