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Saplings planted for all Weymouth children who started school in 2020

Weymouth Town Council is working to create a new copse area in Westham. It will be a special area recognising the young children in our communities who started school in 2020.

The Town Council’s Parks and Open Spaces team have planted 520 saplings in total, one for each child who started school in Weymouth during the pandemic. The team will also be installing log seats to create a ‘sitting circle’ for schools and children to use when they visit.

Local families are encouraged to use and enjoy the area in line with the current national restrictions and the council will invite local schools for visits when possible. It’s hoped local schools can help with planting bulbs and making bird feeders in the area too.

The council has had a fantastic response from local primary and infant schools, who have been invited to be involved with the scheme. Names of all participating schools will be displayed in the area in recognition of their support.

Any schools who would like to be part of this scheme are encouraged to get in touch with the council to express their interest by emailing office@weymouthtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Kate Wheller, Councillor for Weymouth Town Council said:

“We understand what a difficult and uncertain year it’s been for children, particularly those starting school for the first time. We want this area to be somewhere children can feel is their own and a symbol of our support for the wellbeing of children and young people.”

The trees are native species, such as oak and hawthorn. When fully grown they will provide shelter and a year-round food supply for our local wildlife, producing spring blossom for bees, leaves for caterpillars in the summer and acorns and berries for birds and small mammals in the autumn.  They will also help mitigate climate change and can reduce air pollution.

Dorset Council has expressed strong support for this scheme that engages young children in the need to conserve, protect and enhance our environment.  Dorset Council is also keen to encourage and support other Town or Parish Councils that may be considering similar initiatives.