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Published Wednesday 12th of December 2012 01:42:25 PM

On Saturday 8 December, pupils, parents and staff gathered together to plant Hazlegrove's Jubilee Wood on the school's site in Sparkford, Somerset, the only wood of this size to be planted by a British school. The wood, which is being created to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, is located on the five acres of land that lie between the playing fields and the A303 and will provide a space for theatre events, summer sports and camping for the children, as well as for outdoor learning.

Central to the design of the Jubilee Wood are 60 flowering crab apple trees, each one representing a year in the Queen's reign. These trees have been arranged in a circle standing like handmaidens in a Royal Court and are approached via an avenue of trees. Standing on its own on the far side of the circle will be a single oak, grown from Hazlegrove's much-celebrated King John oak. Around the crab apple circle, 2,500 young indigenous trees have been planted to represent the diversity of species found within Britain's native woodlands.

This unique Jubilee Wood has been created with help from parent and local farmer, Chris Barber, Ashridge Nurseries and Habitat Aid, a local conservation charity, all of whom have offered significant support in its concept and development, from creating banks and bunds to supplying the seeds and wild flower mixes, which are being planted to attract a wide variety of butterflies and other insects. An ancient pond has also been renovated to create a suitable habitat for indigenous amphibians and aquatic insects.

Headmaster Richard Fenwick comments: 'The Jubilee Wood will be instrumental in raising awareness among our children about the rich diversity of plants and animals to be found within the local countryside. We are all future custodians of our natural heritage and Hazlegrove pupils will be able to draw on this significant educational resource now and for decades to come.'
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