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The Corporation

Posted: 20/03/20

Learners hedge their bets for a greener future

An environmental campaign has been given a boost at West Nottinghamshire College as students have planted new trees at the Derby Road campus in Mansfield.

  • The My World, My Home group with tutors and campaign coordinator Hannah Evans, far left
  • Campaign coordinator Hannah Evans showed the students how to prepare the ground for the saplings
  • Zoe Gibson digs the first hole for the hawthorn saplings
  • Each one of these little stems will one day become a hawthorn hedge
  • Dylan Ryles carefully plants one of the young bushes
  • The young hawthorn bushes each had a protective cover placed on them

The ‘My World, My Home’ project has seen A Level students getting involved in a number of ways of making positive changes to the environment and it is run in conjunction with Friends of the Earth and the SOS - Students Organising For Sustainability charity.

The project provides students with a recognised Level 3 qualification in Community Campaigning and will earn them 8 UCAS points each ready for when they apply to university.

This week’s tree planting initiative came about after the group decided to organise a local community campaign and reached out to both Mansfield and Ashfield District Councils to consider double-tree planting in their districts to help tackle the climate crisis, provide homes for wildlife and to prevent flooding.

The group planted 25 native hawthorn hedges in an area of the college’s field known as ‘The Patch’, which is home to a wildlife garden and pond, accompanied by the My World, My Home campaign coach, Hannah Evans.

Students were shown how to dig the ground to prepare it for planting each small sapling, before they were tied to individual stakes and protected with a tree guard.

A Level student Dylan Ryles, 17, said: “I think this is great thing to do. We want to make Mansfield more sustainable in terms of tree coverage and we’ve had great support from Mansfield District Council who recommended the hawthorn bushes to plant. We’re enjoying getting these planted today and will keep a close eye on them as they grow.”

Campaign Coach Hannah Evans, said: “I’m delighted that the students’ initiative to encourage the districts of Mansfield and Ashfield to double tree-cover has begun with this first small step.”

In the forthcoming months the group will have the option to attend a three-day residential trip at Keele University to learn more about sustainability which is being called the Friends of the Earth Youth Gathering. This event will be part of a celebration for completing the programme.

People can sign the students’ petition to support Mansfield and Ashfield District Councils to double tree-cover here