St Paul’s Academy students from Year 7 to 9 with members of staff (Ms Pierce, Mr O’Connell and Mr Davis) have spent time improving the biodiversity of the school environment by planting hedgerows. The school was gifted 400 tree saplings from Woodland Trust in September from an array of different species: hawthorn, holly and blackthorn to name a few. This is an important aspect of the Catholic ethos of the school by encouraging students to be stewards of their community.
Fig. 1- SPA students Year 8 Patrick and Freddie Shako work in tandem to plant Hawthorn
Hedges are important to the British countryside as they act as a habitat for wildlife, especially primary consumers avoiding predators such as foxes. They also act as migratory corridors for species to move between ecosystems.
Over 40 students spanning a total of 20 hours have committed to enhancing the fragmented hedgerow along Finchale Road. It is hoped that in September the school will be donated various fruit trees by Woodland Trust once more so that they can grow fruit on site for enterprise and the canteen. Well done to all students and staff involved in volunteering. You should take a leaf out of their book as new volunteers are always needed.
Figure 2- Billy Grover and Simone Wellington planting holly saplings and using compost to enrich the soil.
“Planting is a taste of creating new life, if there were no plants then how are we supposed to breathe since we have no oxygen? Without plants, carbon dioxide would be released to the atmosphere, which could wipe out the human race. If you are doing planting just remember this, plants are like the key to you being alive because you need to breathe. If you are planting you are a steward of the community doing something good, making new life and a difference to the world.” (Patrick Shako Year 8).