From little acorns... How South Shields pupils are doing their bit for the planet - in honour of the Queen

Little acorns at a South Tyneside school have dug deep to help save the planet '“ and all with the Royal seal of approval.

Saturday, 3rd November 2018, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd November 2018, 11:13 am
Susan Winfield Lord Lieutenant and Emma Lewell-Buck South Shields MP plant Her Majesty The Queen seedling at Holy Trinity Primary School

Youngsters from Holy Trinity CofE Academy, South Shields, planted four saplings as part of a nation-wide initiative to honour the Queen.

They oversaw two rowan saplings being added to a bedding area of the Brockley Avenue school’s quadrangle.

Younsters from Holy Trinity Primary with Susan Winfield Lord Lieutenant and South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck

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The tots then trooped 200m to NECA’s (North East Council on Addictions) Green Hope Oasis Allotment, where they helped put two silver birches into the soil.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, Susan Winfield OBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, and other VIP guests, were also present.

The children’s efforts were part of an initiative which saw 500 MPs plant trees in their constituencies to support the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

The canopy is a network of forest conservation schemes established to mark Her Majesty’s work on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Tina Murphy, headteacher of Holy Trinity CE Academy, said: “We are overwhelmed to have been asked to be part of this initiative. This part of our school was already under development, it’s been the centerpiece for a while and now more so than ever.”

The saplings were donated to the MPs through a partnership between the Woodland Trust conservation charity and retailer Sainsbury’s.

In April, ITV screened The Queen’s Green Planet documentary, which included a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough. Watched by 6.4 million viewers, it captured the Queen talking informally about climate change and trees.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy is an ambitious legacy project which brings together her commitment to the Commonwealth and her little-known love of trees.

Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I know that the children and the volunteers are going to nurture these little trees and we all look forward to seeing them grow and thrive in our special town.”

Eileen Innes, deputy chief executive of NECA, added: “It is great that we are involved in this project.

“Ours is a community garden, and people can come along to the allotment and see how things are grown and learn how it is done.”

Beccy Speight, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said: “We all need trees. They are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity.”