A fruitful legacy was begun at St Joseph’s RC Primary School last Saturday when more than 50 trees were planted in the grounds.
Pupils, parents and staff were all on hand to help with digging and planting 25 apple and 25 pear trees.
In addition, six plum trees were placed in the ground – one for each of the school’s classes, with the intention for planting a further one each year for every new intake.
The school raised more than £500 to pay for the trees, which came from Children’s Orchard, a charity which helps communities and schools plant fruit trees. Each tree is dedicated to a pupil or a member of their family.
The planting also formed part of the school’s celebrations to mark 50 years at Preston Road.
The first tree was planted by Elaine Sherratt in memory of her late sister, Suzanne, who was one of the first pupils at the Preston Road school and a well-loved teacher there for 25 years.
The day was organised by Margaret Miller, Schools Project Officer with Forth Valley Orchards, which is part of the Stirling-based Forth Environment Link.
She said: “What a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of St Joseph’s Primary School with an orchard of lovely fruit trees planted with huge enthusiasm by parents and pupils!
“This will be a legacy for the future.”
Mrs Miller had already visited the school to teach pupils and staff how to grow fruit trees, when to prune them and when they will be ready with fruit.
The tree-planting was supported with a generous donation from garden centre New Hopetoun Gardens, near Newton. The centre donated rabbit guards, stakes and matting to protect the saplings from frost and weeds.
Burgh Beautiful also helped by lending a selection of tools for the day’s work and Provost Tom Kerr and Councillor Martyn Day were on hand during the day.
Principal teacher Laura Travers said the school would benefit greatly.
She said: “As well as the fundraising, the school’s eco-committee has helped organise a great legacy which will be here long after the pupils have left.
“In addition to giving us a bumper crop of fruit – which can be used to learn about healthy eating, cooking and the environment – the horticulture element will also have an important place in teaching us all about the life cycle of trees.
“And because we expect to have so much fruit, we will even be able to use them for maths.”
Tasty lessons, indeed!