Little Downy Hill Birch
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.
Years 3 and 4 of Little Hill Primary School in Wigston, Leicestershire, played a key role – from start to finish – in the project to plant a Diamond Jubilee tree in the grounds.
The project was very much a collaboration between the school and Kate Aucott, an Oadby and Wigston Tree Warden, and involved several meetings between her and teacher Maggie Osborne to discuss ideas and plan the occasion.
At an early stage, Years 3 and 4 were asked what kind of tree it should be. After a great search through the possibilities, they decided on a downy birch, also known as white birch (Betula pubescens).
The site chosen for the Jubilee tree was at the front of the school where it would be in
full public view and therefore easy for passers-by to see.
As part of the preparation for the big event, the children were encouraged to write poems, inspired by a calendar of trees in the area, produced a few years ago by Oadby and Wigston Tree Wardens with photographs and poetry contributed by other schools and members of the public.
On 4th July 2013, the evening before the tree planting, Maggie Osborne’s arboriculturist husband, Mark, dug the hole, ready for the children to set to work with spades the following day.
If the Queen had a dream for a
As a gift for her Jubilee,
The answer would be to plant a tree –
No, not one, but sixty!
She’d ask Little Hill to help her fulfil
This dream, to be part of the scheme
By planting their very own tree.
What a gift for Her Majesty and
for all posterity
The tree’s there for all to see.
But better by far – for they are the star –
Of this wonderful notion which
stirs great emotion:
The children who helped and learned
from this project –
The wonder of trees, which now
they’ll help protect.
So thanks all of you – for dreams do come true
And we’re glad to have shared it with you!
Kate Aucott, Tree Warden
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. A group of pupils mix fertiliser in the soil.
- 2. Holding the Diamond Jubilee tree steady and filling in the hole.
- 4. Watering the soil, aided by Tree Warden Colin Hames.
- 5. Years 3 and 4, with their newly-planted downy birch.