Bright Sparks Pre-School Black Mulberry
This is one of The Tree Council’s 60 educational tree planting schemes with children that
were inspired by the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Each tree, provided by The Tree
Council, was chosen and planted by volunteers in the community.
Colwall is a vibrant village, of about 2,000 people, nestling on the western slopes of the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire. The village school is the heart of the community and there are organisations and societies to suit all ages and tastes.
A place that brings the community together is Colwall Village Garden – a community orchard with allotment gardens, owned and managed by Colwall Orchard Group.
One of the facilities on the site is a play area where the local children can meet and play. A group of allotmenteers’ children, inspired by their Celtic topic at school, have formed the ‘Attaki’ tribe. Tribe members make their own shields and weapons to Celtic designs (no plastic allowed). They practise den building, stalking, archery, fighting and battle tactics, using our apple storage bins as their fort.
Colwall Village Garden is open to everyone in the village to use. It acts as
a focal point for growing organic fruit
and vegetables, volunteering, learning about orchard management and
holding celebratory events, such as the Colwall Wassail.
So, when The Tree Council awarded us a Jubilee tree, we chose to plant a black mulberry in the Village Garden in recognition of close collaboration between Colwall Orchard Group, Colwall Church of England Primary School and Bright Sparks, the local pre-school.
The day was bright and sunny, with our bunting fluttering in the breeze, as
Lady Darnley, The Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, planted the tree. She praised the Orchard Group’s commitment to the future in planting their new orchard.
Lady Darnley also gave a warm welcome to the new Head of Colwall C of E Primary School, Judith Tinsley, and a sincere vote of thanks and wishes for a happy retirement to the Manager of Bright Sparks Pre-school, Jean Holley, retiring after 33 years’ dedicated service.
After the tree planting, Colwall Handbell ringers rang “God Save the Queen” and members of the Attaki tribe presented Lady Darnley with a framed commemorative certificate and some Colwall Orchard apple juice.
This was a truly community-led event with supporting entertainment provided by the Colwall Rotary Club’s Mediaeval One-arm Bandit.
There was story telling with children’s author Julia Jarman; a children’s book stall provided by a local book co-operative; stick whittling with a local landscape architect; craft activities with pre-school staff; refreshments in the apple packing shed; and Name that Tree and Apple Variety quizzes around the orchard.
Commemorative certificates were provided by the parish council and the event was recorded for posterity by Colwall Village Society.
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. Gathering for the planting.
- 2. Handbell ringers play the national anthem.
- 3. Whittling, with landscape architect Felicity Robinson.
- 4. The Lord Lieutenant, Lady Darnley, plants the tree.