PUPILS at The Forge Short Stay School in Redditch, have planted an orchard on their school’s grounds with help from pupils and parents from neighbouring St Stephen's First School.

The school is planning to make its grounds more edible, with thanks to a grant from the campaigning organisation The Tree Council.

Pupils planted walnut and hazelnut trees, as well as a variety of local fruit trees including the Worcester Black Pear, the Redditch Doddin, and the Tewkesbury Baron apple.

Headteacher Roger Satterthwaite, said: “We’re proud to have the opportunity to make our school grounds richer in wildlife and more edible. The Forge’s ‘Eco Club’ has worked hard to improve our school and engage people in our community. Pupils have made a valuable contribution to changing attitudes and understanding about trees. Through their actions, our pupils will grow up with a clear view of the importance of trees to wildlife and people. We hope they will pass this on to the next generation.”

Pauline Buchanan Black of The Tree Council, added: “We are delighted that The Forge is taking positive action to improve their school grounds and showing why trees are so important to the environment and to people. Thanks to the resources contributed by our donors and supporters, The Tree Council has been able to make grants that will change urban and rural areas across the country.”

Community gardener Alistair Waugh helped with the planting.

He said: "We wanted the varieties of fruit to be as local as possible. To keep their stories alive and to let future generations enjoy them.

“That said, one of the walnut varieties 'Corne du Perigord' is from an area in the Dordogne region of France.

“The Forge hope to make a link to a school in Perigord and exchange, seeds, ideas, photos, and of course practice its language skills.”