NATURE loving care home residents joined forces with schoolchildren to plant the roots for a greener future.
Pupils of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School helped residents of Pendine Park’s Hillbury and Gwern Alyn care homes in Hillbury Road, Wrexham to plant a selection of spring saplings.
The young trees were supplied to them by the Welsh Government and Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales.
It was part of a National Forest for Wales initiative to help fight the devastating impacts of global climate change.
Cindy Clutton, the manager of Hillbury and Gwern Alyn said: “With the onset of spring it was a perfect time to bring some new growth into the Hillbury grounds and help the planet at the same time.
“We were thrilled when we were allocated four lovely young trees as part of the National Forest scheme – a Rowan, a White Ash, Crab Apple and Guelder Rose. They are all beautiful varieties which will bring pleasure to our residents for many years to come.”
Cindy explained that the sister Hillbury and Gwern Alyn care homes have forged a strong bond with St Mary’s primary school over recent years.
Pupils regularly visit the homes as part of a social education project in which they interact with residents and join in various arts, crafts, music and social history projects.
She said: “This was a perfect project to span the generations with old and young working together to plant the seeds for a better, greener future.”
St Mary’s teachers Ruth Edwards and Rachel Worship led two groups of years three and four pupils, totalling 35 children, who delighted in helping residents plant the saplings.
Ruth said: “It is a good way for the children to learn about the importance of protecting the environment and in addition to feel they are doing something practical to help stabilise our planet for the future.”
Friends Evie Shelley, Alexandra Pereira and Sabrina Kiao, all aged nine, said they can’t wait to see the green shoots mature and grow into big strong trees.
Evie said: “This is the first time ever that I’ve planted a tree and it’s been great. We must do everything we can to look after the planet and protect our lovely countryside in Wrexham and everywhere. I hope my friends and I will get to plant lots more trees as we get older and learn of other important ways we can safeguard our environment.”
Gwern Alyn residents Brenda Whittle, Kathleen Hatton and Chris Whitley, wrapped up warm for the venture into Gwern Alyn and Hillbury’s extensive grounds.
They said it was cold weather but heart-warming to watch the pupils work so hard with their spades and trowels.
Adnan Elouahabi, aged eight, had the job of carrying a hefty watering can, while Daniel Frost and David Griffith, both also eight, dug a planting hole with a garden fork and trowel.
Daniel said they were looking forward to seeing what the different varieties of tree looked like as they grew stronger.
The National Forest for Wales is an ongoing venture to establish a nationwide network of publicly accessible woodlands and forests stretching the length and breadth of Wales.
As well as creating new areas of woodland, it will work to restore and protect existing forests, and reverse biodiversity loss.
About 40,000 trees are being made available to individuals and organisations across Wales on a first come first served basis under the My Tree Our Forest project.
The idea is to give every household in Wales the opportunity to help reverse the damage done to the environment by deforestation.
The saplings are creating new growth in towns, cities, public areas and private gardens.
Experts have found that whenever even small forests and woodlands are lost to the world much of the carbon stored by the trees is released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, which is a key trigger exacerbating the damaging effects of climate change.
The planting is just one example of how Pendine Park care organisation is working to reduce its’ own carbon footprint.
It also harvests rain water for its care home gardening needs. The gardens and maintenance teams have installed bird boxes across Pendine Park gardens and grounds, and also worked hard to introduce several butterfly species.
The organisation has also previously been awarded a prestigious Green Dragon environmental standard level three ranking after changing to wheat-made paper, energy saving lightbulbs, dual flush toilets and automatic battery-operated washbasins to prevent taps being left running.