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Tree planting by Knowle West’s own eco warriors

Main image and below Year 5 Eco Warriors from Oasis Academy Connaught with Filwood Tree Champion Jim Smith. All pictures Duncan George, Oasis Academy Connaught.

As crucial climate change talks continue at COP26 in Glasgow this week – Knowle West’s own eco warriors have been doing their bit by tree planting in the area.

Eight pupils from Oasis Academy Connaught – under the guidance of Filwood Tree Champion Jim Smith – planted 25 oak ‘whip’ trees in the school grounds on Monday (8 November).

Jim says: “They were all planted, then measured – with a decorated, 100cm measuring stick – watered in and name label attached, all within one hour of starting!

“Badges, decorated by the children, were given out for them to wear, to commemorate this tree planting event… With thanks to Connaught School for permission to carry out this invaluable task…”

The school’s Head Gardener and Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Duncan George, who helped at the event said: “Oasis Academy Connaught’s recently appointed Year 5 Eco Warriors had great fun planting their oak trees with Jim.

“They took great pride doing their bit towards the fight against climate change, and knowing that those trees will one day become mighty oaks, to be enjoyed by the school and local community for decades to come.”

The trees and equipment were funded by Knowle West Alliance – with the oaks obtained from Bristol Tree Forum and measuring sticks donated offcuts from Filwood Green Business Park.

The scheme will continue in the area – with three more local schools to also plant trees by the end of December.

Filwood is one of the Bristol wards which has low tree canopy – and the area has also seen more planting on local streets.

Filwood Tree Champion Jim Smith outlines why trees are so important
  1. They take in carbon dioxide (which animals breathe out) and give out oxygen (which animals breathe in) – and give out water which cools the air.
  2. Soak up water, to alleviate flooding/runoff.
  3. Give shelter from the rain and shade from the sun.
  4. Clean the air, by collecting dust, dirt and soot on the leaves and bark.
  5. Provide shelter, homes and food for animals, birds and insects as well as fungi and microscopic life forms.
  6. On steep banks, roots stabilise the soil and reduce run off.
  7. Help to slow process of climate change by cooling the air, (shade) and giving off reflected heat from the leaves and surfaces.
  8. Trees provide, flowers, fruit and attractive green leaves, which can change colour in autumn, to cheer our spirits.
  9. If you cannot get to a nature reserve or green space – street and garden trees and vegetation are the next best thing.