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Trees for Life (Biljyn Bio) Island's Schools Gear-Up 1 September 2008

The Forestry Division is about to launch its brand new Trees for Life initiative this September.

This initiative is designed to bring young school children in touch with the importance of trees and their natural environment through a system of 'hands on’ learning which will involve the creation of a new broadleaf woodland on Forestry land at Conrhenny Plantation.

This exciting new project will initially involve 18 classes from 14 of the Island’s Primary Schools.

This September, schools will receive 500 containerised native broadleaf trees which they will care for until March next year when the children will be invited to carry out the first of several annual plantings at Conrhenny Plantation (a 5 hectare site). The Forestry Division has also produced an activity pack for use by teachers which will enable the children to learn more about the importance of trees and how to plant and care for them.

Chairman of the Forestry Division, Brenda Cannell MHK said: ‘This exciting new initiative has taken some time to prepare and I am delighted that the Department of Education has agreed to participate in what should prove to be a valuable and memorable experience for the children, by creating a sense of 'ownership' of the new woodland which they will enjoy for many years to come.’

Minister for Education, Anne Craine MHK added: 'I am very pleased that our schools are collaborating with the Forestry Division on this project that integrates well with the primary curriculum and gives the children the opportunity to develop a new woodland area. They will be able to watch this grow throughout their lives as well as it being a legacy for future generations. Children and young people are often very interested in environmental issues and projects like this help to foster that enthusiasm.'

Mrs Cannell finished, ‘We have carefully designed the activity pack to make the learning experience both exciting and interesting and we sincerely hope that they enjoy the whole process right through to planting these trees in this beautiful part of our Island.’

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