Youngsters plant 1,000 Jubilee trees at Tarmac quarry
Event marks the Diamond Jubilee and The Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project.
Pupils from Leigh-on-Mendip First School near Frome are helping to create a special Jubilee Wood at Tarmac’s Halecombe quarry.
The 51 youngsters, aged between four and nine, from the village school will lend Tarmac staff a hand when they visit the quarry, near Leigh-on-Mendip, on March 19 to help plant some of the 1,000 native trees.
The woodland is being created as part of a nationwide Diamond Jubilee project organised by The Woodland Trust. The charity is marking Her Majesty The Queen’s 60th year as monarch by planting six million trees across the UK as part of its Jubilee Woods project. It has donated 1,000 saplings to Tarmac – including a tree grown from an acorn from one of the royal estates.
Michael Charlton, Tarmac’s Restoration Manager for West and South-East regions, said it earmarked the one hectare area within the quarry for the scheme after the firm was approached by The Woodland Trust about participating in the planting scheme.
“We’re carrying out a considerable amount of restoration work at Halecombe as part of our biodiversity plans, and thought this would be an ideal way to enhance what is already going on here to improve the environment,” he explained. “Because we have a close relationship with the school, which is nearby, we asked if the children would like to help us plant the trees.
“We are excited to be involved in this historic project and look forward to seeing the saplings mature into woodland that will be enjoyed by locals for years to come.”
Mrs Mary Sturgess, Headteacher at Leigh-on-Mendip First School, added: “They are really looking forward to the experience, which will also help members of the School Council and the school’s Eco Warriors when they organise the planting of a new hedgerow in the school grounds later in the term.”
Tarmac has already been praised for its work in protecting the habitat of endangered bats at Halecombe quarry.
Its work to protect lesser horseshoe bats that were roosting at the site has led to increased numbers of the protected species, as well as the return of the brown long-eared bat to the site in increasing numbers.
Tarmac worked with Mendip Council, Natural England and English Heritage to renovate a Grade II farmhouse within the quarry where the bats were roosting and build a temporary roost while work was carried out.
The Serotine bat, Natterer’s bat, Noctule bat, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle have all been spotted foraging within the quarry and greater horseshoe bat occasionally visit the farmhouse.
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23 May 2012