Planting day at Southlands Lower School, Biggleswade
David Bellamy' visit to Southlands made for an exciting day for pupils and staff, which is best described in their on words: "Southlands Lower School in Biggleswade recently had an exciting visitor to their school. We received a call to say that our application for trees had been successful and the date for tree planting was 26th February 2009. To our surprise but excitement, we were told that David Bellamy OBE would be attending the tree planting session!! This left us with lots to do but very little time, bearing in mind Bedfordshire schools were about to break up for half term.
"The children and parents were notified of this very special occasion and the children were asked to find out and write down 5 facts about the tree that their class is named after (every class is named after a tree) and to return these facts to school after half term. I contacted the Tree Appeal and discussed numbers and types of trees that were to be planted. The chosen number was 90 and we chose Ash, Beech, Birch, Maple, Oak, Rowan and Lime - all native broadleaved trees.
"On our return, the children's tree facts were typed up, stuck onto green paper leaves and placed all around the school for the children to read in addition to tree quizzes.
"Children also had to think of some questions that they wanted to ask David and once again, these were written onto green paper leaves and hung onto a constructed tree in the school hall which did look quite effective!! One of the Mums made 300 fairy cakes iced green and brown which were placed into tree shapes so that every child enjoyed would enjoy a cake and she made a large rectangular cake for the visitors.
"The day arrived and what an exciting day it was. The visitors arrived at about 1.45pm. There was David Bellamy, representatives from the Tree Appeal, Marchant Manufacturing, Mid Beds District Council, Anglia Television, Biggleswade Chronicle, Governors and some parent helpers. The whole school were invited into the hall for an assembly with David where he was asked some of the questions hanging from the tree. David cut the cake and then 40 selected children went outside to plant 35 of the 90 trees (the rest of the trees were planted on the Friday). The rest of the school were brought out a class at a time to watch the event.
"At 6pm that night on ITV, there was a report about David's visit to Southlands which ended off a great day.
"This was an amazing day and it will be a day that many of the staff and children will never forget. The trees will transform our school and they will be enjoyed by future generations."