Children across the borough are creating orchards for a greener future

School children from Redcar and Cleveland learned about the importance of trees and even had a go at planting and grafting their own. 

As part of the Council’s pilot project, initiated after the creation of the Pippin Community Orchard in March 2023, children from New Marske Primary School, Ings Farm Primary Schol, Greengates Primary School and Highcliffe Primary School were involved in grafting workshops lead by Council officers working together with Honest Graft.

It was an eye-opening experience for the children who learned about how trees help our environment, and about their structure and growth. They worked in groups to graft their own apple trees, which will be planted by the students next year in the schools’ fields to create their own orchards.

The Year 4 pupils from New Marske Primary School have also tried their hand at planting a mixture of fruit trees and native woodland trees in the Horsefield Orchard site near Errington Woods. They were once again supported by officers from various teams at the Council including Horticultural Apprentices. 

More planting was completed afterwards by the local probation service and the local community. In total, 650 trees have been planted at the site. 

John Dooris, Headteacher at New Marske Primary School, said: 

“I would like to thank everybody involved for suggesting, planning, and supporting the tree planting activity in New Marske. The children thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the woods and by the way they fully immersed themselves into the planting, I’m sure they got a lot from supporting an activity in their local area.”

Cabinet Member for Climate and Culture, Cllr Carrie Richardson, said: 

“It is important for us as a council not only to look after our trees, but also to help teach future generations about their importance for the environment. I am certain the grafting workshops and planting session were valuable learning experiences for all the school children, and I would like to thank our officers and Honest Graft for all the effort they put into inspiring and passing their knowledge to them.”

Ward Member for Longbeck, Cllr Vera Rider, who supported the planting in the Horsefield Orchard, funding some of the trees and applying to Woodland Trust to procure woodland trees, said: 

“It was wonderful to see our school children being so enthusiastic about planting trees and they all did incredible work. Looking after the tree population in our borough and expanding it will not only make a difference to the environment, but it will also make our borough a better place to live for our residents.”