Malvern Wyche Primary School gets tree planting!

Pupils from Malvern Wyche Primary School have planted 60 new shrubs at All Saints Wood bringing benefits to both wildlife and the local community.

The small woodland, next to All Saints Church on the Wells Road, had long been left without intervention but now has a new lease of life thanks to a project led by landowner, the Malvern Hills Trust.

A planting day on the 14th March with the Wyche School and attended by the Trust's new CEO Deborah Fox, marks the end of an 18-month project involving woodland management and habitat restoration to improve the quality of the woodland for wildlife and people.

Hazel, Dog wood, Alder buckthorn and Guelder rose saplings were planted, secured and protected with stakes and tree guards by the pupils from the neighbouring school. Over time, pupils, parents and teachers will be able to watch the shrubs grow and mature.

Richard Turley, Year 6 teacher said "We had the children from our youngest class to our oldest class involved with the planting of the saplings, and they all thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck in.  We're looking forward to many more visits to the woodland area, and we hope that this will help the children develop a better understanding and appreciation of nature."

Prior to the recent works, the native woodland flora had been smothered by Cherry laurel, and invasive, non-native plant with thick, glossy leaves. The dense, evergreen stands of laurel stopped light from reaching the woodland floor so that flowers such as Bluebells, Wood anemone or Garlic could not grow. By removing the laurel and planting the shrubs, local fauna and flora including woodland flowers will once again bloom.

As well as benefiting wildlife, opening up this once gloomy woodland has made the area much more welcoming for those wanting to spend time in this green space.

Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer said "It's been wonderful to watch the children get involved in their local area and contribute to this woodland's future.  This partnership between the Trust and the Wyche School is only just beginning as this woodland will now be the location for outdoor learning where children can discover more about the nature around them and benefit from lessons in the fresh air."

This project was only made possible thanks to Defra's 'Farming in Protected Landscapes' grant programme administered by the Malvern Hills National Landscape which also funded new benches and path improvements in the woodland for use by the school and other visitors.