Cosham schoolpupils celebrate ‘treemendous’ success after being awarded champion status by nature trust

A SPECIALIST secondary school in Cosham has won national recognition for its pioneering work in promoting the importance of trees in the fight against climate change.

Solent Academies Trust’s Redwood Park Academy is one of only 19 schools to be awarded Young Tree Champion Beacon School status by The Tree Council in 2022/23.

Redwood Park Academy, which has 154 pupils aged 11-16 who have complex learning difficulties, drew the council’s attention after it hosted a visit from the Speakers Trust for its Speak Up for Trees and Nature event.

Redwood Park’s Beacon School award was announced during the Tree Council’s Force for Nature Festival, which was livestreamed to schools across the country on YouTube.

Keeleigh Bell receives her award - with gardening teacher Ed Bond and Redwood Park Academy headteacher Luci Johnson. Picture: Debbie Granville

The school had also entered speeches by pupils Kimmy Jasper and Keeleigh Bell into the Festival’s Speak Up for Trees competition, and both pupils were also named Tree Council Junior Ambassadors for 2022/23.

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Keeleigh added: ‘I wasn’t nervous about giving my speech.

‘I love trees and nature and want to care for it.

‘But when I found out I had won the award and the Go Ape prize I couldn’t believe it.’

Sharon Burt, CEO of Solent Academies Trust, said: ‘Trees and the future wellbeing of our planet play a huge part in all our schools at Solent Academies Trust and perhaps none more so than our aptly-named Redwood Park Academy.

‘Very well done to all our Redwood pupils and teachers and especially Keeleigh and Kimmy who showed such bravery and passion in delivering their wonderful speeches and to [gardening teacher] Ed Bond for his huge commitment to this project.’