Worthy causes from across the South West have this spring (2014) received a total of 2,014 saplings to help with projects they are running thanks to a garden centre in Somerset.
Schools, charities, village organisations and community groups were invited to nominate themselves for the annual giveaway scheme run by Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre at Monkton Heathfield in Taunton.
Andrew Pitman, Plant Manager at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre, explained: “We have held our sapling giveaway every year and it is always extremely popular. We offer the saplings to charities, communities, schools and other worthy causes and it is always really interesting to see the different projects people are working on.”
Earlier this year the garden centre set aside 2,014 small sapling trees, which were allocated on a first come, first served basis.
One of the organisations to benefit from a donation of saplings was Sky College in Taunton.
Peter Giles, Land-based studies Coordinator at Sky College, said: “Thanks to the garden centre’s kind donation we will be able to get to work on our new allotment area.
“The saplings are going to be planted as a natural screen to hide the large polytunnel that will be erected. Planting the trees will give the pupils the opportunity to be a part of the project and a sense of ownership over it. The project will also count towards their qualifications.”
The school currently has 54 pupils from across Somerset and in the last 12 months has adapted its curriculum to incorporate more practical activities such as Land-based Studies.
Another organisation to receive a donation of saplings was West Monkton Church of England (C of E) Primary School in Taunton.
Sue Martin, Year Three and Four Teacher at West Monkton C of E Primary School on School Road at Monkton Heathfield, said: “Our school is currently expanding with new porta cabins to accommodate new pupils. Subsequently we lost many trees so the saplings will come in extremely useful for replacing these as well as redeveloping our nature area.”
The garden centre has now given away groups of between 50 and 100 small indigenous British varieties of saplings to 12 schools and organisations and hopes to continue running the giveaway annually.
Andrew added: “We really enjoy hosting the sapling giveaway as it feels great to be helping organisations with their various gardening needs. We hope to continue running it for many more years to come.”
For more information, please call the garden centre, which is located just off the A38 at Monkton Heathfield between Bridgwater and Taunton, on 01823 412381, visit www.monktonelmgardencentre.co.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/Monktonelm or follow the company on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/Monktonelm.