An apple for the teacher

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in News | No Comments

Students at saltash.net community school were definitely ‘buzzing’ with excitement when their proposals to help improve the bee friendly qualities of the school grounds came to ‘fruition’.

Save the Bees Champions: Harriet Hunt, Ellie Garland, Amelia Horne, Kaley Gibbs, Lottie Elliot, Georgia Godwin, Freddie Brasher and Benji Illingworth first raised concerns about the decline of bees and the impact this would have on life on Earth to their Science teacher Mrs Sonia Cooper.

This was then researched and followed up with letters to Head Teacher, Isobel Bryce, asking her to allocate some space at school for a wild flower meadow, an idea which had been informed by the Springwatch ‘say no to the mow’ campaign.

Fortunately, the plight of the bees just happened to coincide with contact from Shojiro Frank – Saltash Apple Project Coordinator, (SAP) supported by Saltash Environmental Action Group. He was hoping the school would have space for an orchard.

Site Manager, Graham Drewery, and Grounds man, Steve Guinann, were then tasked to try and locate a suitable site within the school grounds, not just for the orchard but for a wild flower meadow as well.

An area was identified and the first stage was for the site to be prepared for the arrival of the 14 apple trees during the recent half term break. The second stage involved the students planting out the trees – along with staking, and placing rabbit proof guards.

The third stage will be the preparation for the wild flower planting in and around the orchard. The school is hoping this will put on a colourful display from spring through to summer, thereby attracting more bees and other pollinating insects.

Science teacher, Mrs Cooper, said, ‘Future plans include expanding the stock of Cornish apple trees by students employing grafting techniques when the trees are established. We also hope to use the fruit in the cookery rooms at school to try various recipes using the different varieties of local apples.’