Children from a Hucknall school spruce up their pond area by planting saplings in a bid to encourage more wildlife.
Hillside Primary and Nursery School has its own gardening club and greenhouse to grow vegetables but wanted to do more to help the environment. It applied to conservation charity the Woodland Trust for free saplings, and was given 30 to grow into a hedge.
Pupil Fearne Wilson, seven, said: “We have planted little trees to make a hedge.”
And Eve Taylor, eight, said: “The digging is hard work. It keeps you fit.”
Teaching assistant Ruth Stamper said it is important that children learn to care for the environment. She said: “We have planted saplings of hawthorn, hazel, holly, dog rose and dogwood to make a hedge in the wildlife pond area.
“The children appreciate that they are creating a better habitat to encourage wildlife and they all really enjoyed planting the hedge. They hope that it will provide somewhere for wildlife to live as the plants grow and think it makes the whole pond area look more natural.”
Allotment-holders Judith Bullin and Karen Weatherall run the gardening club with Ms Stamper.
Mrs Bullin, who also helped to plant the saplings, said: “We are making the most of what the school has and the pupils are learning a lot about where food comes from, how to grow it and about wildlife habitat too.
“It is important that they are aware of the environment; the younger they start learning the better.
“They really enjoyed the planting and over the next couple of years they will be able to see the hedge grow.”
Mrs Weatherall said: “It is great that the children have got involved. They love to get their hands dirty and it is really rewarding for us to see how much they enjoy it.”
John Tucker, Woodland Trust director of Woodland Creation, said: “Schools like Hillside Primary make an important contribution to our aim of increasing the amount of tree cover in the UK, but just as crucially, it helps the pupils learn about the importance of looking after the environment.”