DCG is planning to plant 1,000 trees over the next five years to create a new woodland entitled Little Park Wood at Broomfield Hall land-based college in Morley.
The first stage has included 20 wild cherry trees which have been planted alongside a collection of other native tree saplings. Each cherry tree has been sponsored by a curriculum teams or individuals and marked with a personalised plaque.
Among the sponsors is DCG CEO Mandie Stravino OBE who has dedicated the tree to ‘all DCG staff for their dedication to our students – supporting them to blossom in life, work and society’.
She unveiled the plaque and met some of the Countryside Management and Arboriculture students who, along with Horticulture students, have been involved in the first stage of planting and who have made the wooden plaques.
Ms Stravino said: “This is a wonderful way to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and something that students involved now will be able to return to over the years to see the woodland grow to its full glory.”
Countryside and Arboriculture teacher Paul Foskett continued: “We have chosen wild cherry trees which have been in Britain for more than ten thousand years for their benefit to the local wildlife.
“They will provide a superb habitat for a wide range of animals, a rich source of nectar and fruit or insects and birds and will help define the woodland edge with attractive spring blossom when they mature.”
Arboriculture student Daniel Bacon (16) from Horsley Woodhouse said: “This is a great way to give this piece of land new purpose and it is great that the species will attract and support so much wildlife.”
Fellow student India Day (16) from Belper added: “I have really enjoyed being part of this project. I chose this course because I love to be outdoors and the work we are doing will be good for my CV in the future.”
DCG’s Head of Land-based studies and sustainability lead Jon Collins concluded: “We have planned an extensive planting programme over the coming years including a community planting even this Autumn when the public can learn more about native species and plant their own trees.
“Our goal is to create a woodland that will benefit future generations and be enjoyed by walkers using the nearby public footpath through our grounds.”