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National Tree Week 2019

28th November 2019

On Tuesday 26th November 2019, Helston Community College and members of the Helston Climate Action Group took part in National Tree Week, the UK's largest annual tree celebration, which runs this year from 23rd November to 1st December, marking the start of the winter tree planting season.

National Tree Week encourages people to plant trees around the country to improve our communities and our well-being. Planting trees is one solution to alleviate and reduce the effects of climate change. Trees are crucial to human health; they provide oxygen, store carbon, support a huge variety of wildlife, maintain soil structure, help prevent flooding and look beautiful.

The Helston Climate Action Group is already working hard to champion trees in our town and its surrounding area. At the end of September 2019, the group published its Action Plan towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 in order to help the town address the climate emergency:




There are several projects already underway towards achieving this goal, including planting a Forest For Helston, complementing Cornwall Council’s intention to create a Forest for Cornwall. HCAG have pledged to plant a tree for every child who lives in Helston, and are delighted to support tree-planting projects in local schools and other green spaces in the town. These projects will hugely improve the health and wellbeing of the community and bring nature into local people’s lives.

Helston Community College is also committed to playing its part in helping the town to become carbon neutral by 2030. There is an eco-committee of students in college, currently working on three of the Eco-Schools Ten Topics: Waste, Energy and School Grounds. The eco-committee carry out a review of the college, linked to each of these three topics and then suggest action points for the college.

One of the eco-committee’s action points is to improve the school grounds for students and for nature. The college was therefore delighted and grateful to receive the kind gift of four crab apple (or Malus) trees from Helston Town Council, as part of the Helston Climate Action Group activity. The tree planting ceremony was attended by students of the college and staff, members of the town council and members of the Helston Climate Action Group. The four trees will produce food for birds in autumn and into winter, as well as vital nectar for bees with their beautiful spring blossom. They will also provide students and staff with year-round interest. They symbolise the beginning of more planting on the college site. As the old building is removed, the college will make space for nature in the new grounds, which is fundamental to students’ well-being.

If parents, carers, staff and students would like to make a further contribution to improve their local environment, you could visit The Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback website and pledge to plant a tree (or trees!) yourself. This is a fantastic activity to undertake with the whole family. Helston Climate Action Group would be delighted if you would let them know about any trees that you plant by writing to forestforhelston@gmail.com, so that they can put your tree on a map of the town. Moreover you could also sign up to one of the Climate Vision Pledges in the Helston Climate Action Plan (see link above, p 21).

The students and staff enjoyed taking part in National Tree Week and look forward to watching their new trees mature and develop.