School link-up for tree planting

More than 250 trees are being planted in Ponteland to replace those lost during the construction of the flood alleviation scheme in the area.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 3:56 pm
Tree planting at Ponteland Community Primary School.

The Environment Agency has joined forces with pupils and staff and Swinburne Horticultural Services to plant some of the trees in a meadow at Ponteland Community Primary School, formerly Ponteland Community Middle School.

A number of trees had to be removed so that existing flood defences on the south bank of the River Pont can be replaced with one continuous sheet piled flood wall that will better protect more than 250 homes.

Some of trees will be planted adjacent to the river as the land is reinstated as part of the project, with the rest planted a short distance away in the school grounds.

The new school meadow will include a mix of native oak, hazel, rowan and birch on one side, and an avenue of flowering crab apple and cherry trees along the opposite side.

The Environment Agency’s Kirsty Harwood, Ponteland Flood Scheme project manager, said: “This is a great opportunity to compensate for the trees lost to enable the better flood protection. It’s been wonderful to work with the children and create a more diverse mix of native trees in a school setting.”

The flood alleviation scheme is due for completion in early summer.

Dr Caroline Pryer, the school’s headteacher, said: “These trees will add to our ambition of being a Forest School and complement the original hedging from Lane Farm.”