Tree Action: Crowdfunding campaign passes first target in bid to deliver tree planting projects for schools in Sussex

A crowdfunding campaign to deliver tree planting projects for schools in Sussex has passed its first £5,000 target and set a new stretch target specifically for Shoreham and Southwick.

Tree Action UK is a not-for-profit environmental organisation based in Hove with a key aim to enable students to become part of tackling climate change using school and public land in Sussex, while connecting them with nature to improve their wellbeing.

So far, £5,225 has been raised through the Tree Action for Sussex Schools campaign, with 40 per cent going towards projects with Buckingham Park Primary School in Shoreham and Eastbrook Primary Academy in Southwick.

Buckingham Park wants a plan for more trees and to expand its woodland area for children to play in, while Eastbrook wants a water pump for existing trees in the playing field and the vegetable patch - and if enough money is raised, more trees will be bought for the Forest School area.

Buckingham Park Primary School pupils learning about trees and planting saplings in April 2021

Ricky Purnell, a director of Tree Action UK, said: “Looking at the plan for Buckingham Park Primary School, just think of the added biodiversity, reduced carbon footprint, and outdoor learning potential if more schools in the region were to do this.

“The Tree Action for Sussex Schools campaign underlines what we want to achieve longer term, helping schools to deliver tree planting and maintenance projects that benefit the environment as well as young people.”

Year-six pupils from Buckingham Park planted 18 sweet chestnut saplings in their local park in April and learned more about the trees from volunteer Chloe Chow, a Forest School teacher.

The plan is to plant more than 60 additional trees at the school, including apple, plum, birch and maple trees. Species have been chosen to add biodiversity, the ability to reduce C02 and interest for students through edible fruit, interesting bark colours and texture, leaf shape size and colours.

The CIC is working with Adur and Worthing Councils’ environment team and Forest School trained volunteers to design and deliver the projects.

Tree Action for Sussex Schools offers supporters rewards, such as a thank you card designed by students for a £10 donation and the naming of a tree with a certificate of dedication for a donation of £100.

Tree Action said some of the campaign funds will be used to help hire a trust and grants fundraiser, to secure larger grant funding and support more schools in Sussex.

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