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Ysgol Sant Baruc pupils transform school campus with hundreds of trees

Pupils from Ysgol Sant Baruc, a leading educational institution in Barry, have planted 420 new trees on their new campus with the help of Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales.

Having transitioned from the school’s original Victorian site just over a year ago, Ysgol Sant Baruc’s state of the art campus now boasts extensive outdoor spaces which can be used for teaching, along with hard and soft landscaping for learning and playing.

The grounds also include habitat areas to develop wildlife and encourage biodiversity; eager to make the most of this resource, the school applied for Coed Cadw’s popular Free Trees for Schools scheme, a program designed to empower educational institutions to help the UK reach its 2050 carbon net-zero target by planting millions more trees.

As a result, Ysgol Sant Baruc received 420 saplings last November – a diverse range of species carefully selected to thrive in the school’s environment, foster biodiversity and enrich the natural landscape. The allocation included a range of wild harvest, wild wood and working wood saplings; hardy native species which can grow an array of fruits and nuts and tolerate exposed sites whilst helping to help dry up wet areas.

Students from all age groups across the school participated in the tree planting across five days, guided by teachers and armed with extra knowledge from Coed Cadw’s free Tree Tools for Schools.

Headteacher Rhian Andrews expressed her commitment to leveraging the school’s newfound green space, saying, “We are delighted that the children have been able to get out and plant trees in our school grounds, they will be able to watch them grow from their classroom windows as the years go by; they will create a legacy for future generations of pupils at Ysgol Sant Baruc.

We’re also looking forward to being able to pick some of the fruits in the future and make delicious recipes like elderflower cordial and crab apple jelly in the school kitchen!”

This sentiment echoes the school’s dedication to providing students with hands-on learning experiences that foster a deeper connection with the natural world.

Maggie Elsey-Cox, Engagement & Communications Officer at Coed Cadw, emphasised the importance of such projects. She said, It has been a pleasure working with Ysgol Sant Baruc on this project. The children were closely involved in designing the planting scheme, and eager to learn about the many advantages of having more trees in the playground – from providing shelter, creating food for wildlife and helping with air pollution.

Hopefully this not only marks a significant milestone for the school but also serves as inspiration for other educational institutions seeking to integrate sustainability and outdoor learning into their ethos.”