Planting day at Hazelwood Integrated Primary School, Belfast
Tree Appeal, along with David Bellamy, were very lucky to visit Hazelwood Integrated Primary School in Belfast, which already had the great accolade of being Northern Ireland’s first Forest School.
Hazelwood’s dedicated team of children, who are known as the Eco-Council, headed out into the sun to help the Tree Appeal team and the Firstsource staff to plant thirty saplings, including mountain ash, dog rose and silver birch. The new home for the trees was a quiet spot nestled behind the school buildings, overlooked by the imposing mountain landscape of County Antrim.
“We can’t wait to watch the trees grow and learn more about biodiversity” Amy Jenkins, Hazelwood pupil
Teacher and Head of the Eco-Council, Rachel Agnew, said, “Planting these trees is making the most of the space we have available and to get the most benefit from our school grounds. We’re very lucky to have this outdoor classroom and the trees will be a great tool for helping the children to learn about biodiversity.”
Despite flying over to Belfast in the small hours of the morning, Professor Bellamy was on fine form for his much-anticipated visit, telling the children all about his life experiences and why he is passionate about planting trees. The children were thrilled to meet their guest, with one pupil saying “It’s really good having someone famous in the school. My classmates are all stuck inside doing maths and I’m out here planting trees with David – it makes me feel really lucky.”
“It’s going to be really fun working outside with the trees” Cerys McCorry, Hazelwood pupil
The Firstsource staff enjoyed the opportunity to have a fun day away from the office and were thrilled to be part of an initiative that will have such a strong impact on environmental learning. The representatives from Firstsource teamed up with the Hazlewood students and everyone worked together to get the saplings in the ground. With everybody’s hard work and enthusiasm, the trees were safely planted in no time at all.
Fraida Silver, Marketing Director of Firstsource said, “This is a fabulous day and our people are really working well with the kids. The trees will be a fantastic learning resource for them because they'll be able to get really involved with helping to look after the trees.” Hazelwood’s philosophy is to introduce their children to the wonders of the natural world from a very early age and their pupils are actively involved in recycling, energy saving and growing their own vegetables, which they plan to introduce into the cafeteria as part of school dinners. The sponsored trees were an incredibly welcome addition to the school grounds and are guaranteed to give the children a lasting appreciation of nature.