Tree planting boosts landscape project at Ramsgate Arts Primary

Peter Hasted, Nick Budge and Kevin Pressland at the tree planting Photo Carl Hudson

The Isle of Thanet Trees and Wood Initiative is helping with a landscape project in the grounds at Ramsgate Arts Primary School.

Working alongside Thanet council’s tree officer Kevin Pressland, the ITTWI has selected local sites to benefit from the planting of four specimen trees.

The tree given to the school is a prehistoric Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo Biloba), selected for the site with the help of the initiative’s patron, horticulturalist and tv presenter Frances Tophill from BBC Gardeners’ World.

She said: “Ginkgos are some of my favourite trees – so useful so beautiful and so ancient. They remind us that human interactions with nature have been around for as long as we have.

“And a bit of perspective, especially at a time like this which is so challenging to everyone, can bring a little hope, especially to those pupils who will have the chance to see that tree grow and change through the years and through the seasons.

“I think that kind of sight can bring a little magic that we all need in day to day life.”

Photo Carl Hudson

Peter Hasted from ITTWI added: “Although we are now moving out of tree planting season, we are still very pleased to be able to finally expand our planting into South Thanet. With our extensive establishment programme, we are confident the trees will thrive.”

The Gingko and the other specimen trees for other sites in the district were given by ITTWI’s official supplier Premium Plants near Canterbury as a thank you to the area following an initial successful first phase of tree planting locally.

Photo Carl Hudson

Art teacher Karen Vost, who was at the planting with Head of School Nick Budge, said: “The school is on a journey to improve its landscape areas and it was lovely that the first of our trees came from this important community project. Our aim is to support more natural green spaces, biodiversity and appreciation of the natural world.”

Ramsgate Arts Primary has also taken delivery of 12 saplings including Mountain Ash, Whitebeam and Wild Cherry. Bev Perkins from the town’s Friends of Ellington Park Committee offered them to the school as surplus from a project at the park. She nurtured them for several years and when she heard about the RAPS tree planting scheme it was agreed to support it.

Mr Budge said: “We are touched and thrilled by the generosity of the donation of all these beautiful trees.

“Our Landscape 2020 project is all about creating an outside learning area in our grounds where children can become closely involved with nature and the environment and learn important lessons for the rest of their lives.

“Our children who were in school helped with planting the saplings. They also found some mini beasts in the earth including a grub beetle.

“The provision of the trees is a huge boost to that project – they will be cherished and cared for by our children.”