Acorns collected for future forest in development area

GROW Berewood Primary School pupils collecting acorns to grow into oak trees Picture: Berewood Primary School
GROW Berewood Primary School pupils collecting acorns to grow into oak trees Picture: Berewood Primary School
HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

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CHILDREN have collected and potted acorns which will one day grow into more than 700 oak trees.

More than 120 children from Berewood Primary School in Waterlooville have been involved in the project, which will transform the Berewood site in the West Of Waterlooville Major Development Area into a forest.

The school’s deputy headteacher, Viv Kies, said the project had an educational aspect.

Mr Kies said: ‘Our new community-minded school is surrounded by beautiful woodland.

‘The children really enjoyed collecting acorns from the forest floor and then planting them, one for each child who goes to the school.

‘We showed Oak and Ash classes – our combined Year 1 and Year 2 pupils – how to do this and then they demonstrated to the older children how to select and plant their acorns.’

Developer Grainger PLC is paying for the project through planning contributions to Winchester City Council.

Mr Kies said the number 700 was also significant, as historical sources say it took 700 mature oaks to build the hull of HMS Victory.

By growing these trees, the community is planting a forest which could, in theory, build a new ship but which will also have benefits for the landscape and environment.

Mr Kies said: ‘The children understood that it will take years for them to grow into mature oak trees.

‘We are looking forward to participating in other elements of the arts programme.’

Grainger’s head of development delivery Chris Fletcher said: ‘The oak trees will eventually be planted on the Berewood development, growing with the children and the new development, for future generations to enjoy.’

The oak planting project is part of a community engagement programme being run by the developer.

The programme will also include boat-building workshops and an exploration of the ancient Forest of Bere.