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Temple Hill Primary Academy pupils plant trees in Enchanted Woodland


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Schoolchildren have been tasked with maintaining a beloved community woodland for future generations.

Temple Hill’s popular Enchanted Woodland had been owned and managed by The Temple Hill Trust since 2009, but last year was handed over to Temple Hill Primary Academy for youngsters to nurture and preserve the area.

As locals prepare to mark the estate’s 70th anniversary this July, pupils and their teachers spent an afternoon planting new saplings in the woodland, which will make up for hundreds of trees lost to the development of new homes and factories.

Former Temple Hill Trust CEO Debbie Fryer and pupil Onose
Former Temple Hill Trust CEO Debbie Fryer and pupil Onose

Planting the saplings was the culmination of a tree nurturing project run on the estate over the last few years, with people given them to care for until they were hardy enough to be planted.

Last Wednesday the children were led by the academy’s outdoor education teacher Louise Neaves, who helped them plant three oak trees, two elm, two rowan, two downey birch, and one crab apple.

Temple Hill Primary Academy plant saplings on the estate's Community Woodland
Temple Hill Primary Academy plant saplings on the estate's Community Woodland

She said taking on the Enchanted Woodland would bring “huge benefits to teachers and students alike”.

Temple Hill’s KM community correspondent Joan Francis added: “The day was lovely, with the young students from the Temple Hill Academy enjoying planting the trees back into the woodland and doing their bit for the environment.

Pupils Werasi, Megan, and Onose get ready to plant their trees
Pupils Werasi, Megan, and Onose get ready to plant their trees

“This will be kept and protected as a community woodland and will provide all the benefits that local families have come to know and love.

“The added bonus is the children along with the teachers will use this area on a regular basis to enjoy and learn about their outdoor environment.”

Teacher Louise Neaves and pupil Kajus plant one of the trees
Teacher Louise Neaves and pupil Kajus plant one of the trees

More trees are to be planted in the woodland later in the year, but residents and businesses on the estate — opened by Prime Minister Clement Atlee in 1947 — are also invited to apply to have one of them planted on their own land.

Anyone interested should contact Louise Neaves on 01322 224600 or louise.neaves@temple-hill.kent.sch.uk, or contact Joan Francis on joanfrancis@outlook.com

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