'Learning about Trees' launches The Cotswold Conservation Board Education Project in Oxfordshire

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Year 6 pupils of Shipton – under – Wychwood Primary School recently experienced a day ‘Learning about Trees’ thanks to an initiative by the Cotswold Conservation Board and Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.
After a short introduction by Cotswold Warden Gerry Simper, the children were taken, by kind permission of the owner Mr Brian Gorton, to the ‘Wild Garden’ a privately owned woodland close to their school. Guided by tree expert and Cotswold Warden, Ian Gourlay, the children learned about different trees and how to identify them and how different seeds are dispersed. Ian showed them how trees recover from damage and they visited a massive Cedar of Lebanon with three trunks - the result of animal damage when it was a sapling. At Diggers Wood, a nearby Community Woodland, Gerry explained how it came to be planted and the reason for the name while Ian told them more about tree families and leaf forms and explained the reason for planting the trees so close together.
Back in school, Cotswold Warden, Rosemary Wilson took an art session inviting children to make pastel drawings of selection of pieces of fallen timber. The children were also introduced to some facts and figures, including factors which affect tree growth and the quality of the timber, and how wood can be used sustainably. They learnt how much water trees need, how the age of a tree can be estimated and how to measure the height of a tree using a stick. Outside, they then put some of their knowledge into practice by measuring the girth and height of trees in the school grounds and watched Ian take a core sample to measure a trees age.
Project Leader, Gerry Simper said: We have designed this day project around the theme of trees with the aim of meeting some cross curricular targets in a different and interesting way for the children. All our preparation seemed to have paid off when you look at way the children were engaged and showed their appreciation at the end of the day.”
Notes to editors:
  • Working in partnership with other organisations continues to be an important element of the work of the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens Service. They work with local authorities, wildlife trusts, Butterfly Conservation, DEFRA, The Wychwood Forest Project and many local communities.
  • The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.
  • The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.
  • With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that its beauty and special character are conserved. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
Press contact: Nicola Greaves Tel: 01451 862003 Email: nicola.greaves@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk Cotswolds Conservation Board Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk