Chil­dren sur­vey the health of lo­cal wood

Pupils join coun­cil staff for mea­sur­ing ex­er­cise

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SCHOOL REPORT - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­

YOUNG en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists in Amer­sham spent a day find­ing out how healthy a pop­u­lar wood is.

All 45 year five pupils at St Mary’s CofE Pri­mary School, in School Lane, joined Amer­sham in Bloom vol­un­teers and Amer­sham Town Coun­cil staff to un­der­take a sur­vey to see how healthy Wil­low Wood is.

The wood, be­hind Stan­ley Hill Ceme­tery, is a beech wood­land typ­i­cal of the Chilterns.

The pupils were split into eight groups who sur­veyed 100sqm in the wood.

They sur­veyed the types of trees by age, mea­sur­ing their girth, height, canopy cover and ground cover.

The sur­vey con­firmed that the wood is com­posed of promi­nently beech trees in­ter­spersed with the odd oak, hawthorn, cherry, beech and alder.

The re­sults of the sur­vey con­cluded that holly is the pre­dom­i­nant flora in the un­der­story layer.

Mary Si­mons, a teacher at St Mary’s School, said: “The chil­dren in year five en­joy a chal­lenge. It was good to see them us­ing their ob­ser­va­tion and math­e­mat­i­cal skills to help find out if Wil­low Wood was healthy.”

Steve Catanach, com­mu­nity of­fi­cer at Amer­sham Town Coun­cil, said: “The chil­dren re­ally en­joyed the chal­lenge and were so en­thu­si­as­tic through­out.

“We hope that the sur­vey gave the chil­dren an op­por­tu­nity un­der­stand the sig­nif­i­cance and value of trees while al­low­ing them to ap­ply math­e­mat­i­cal tech­niques and to see how maths can be ap­plied to ev­ery­day sit­u­a­tions.”

Dur­ing the past two years, 1,500 new na­tive tree whips have been planted next to Wil­low Wood with 1,000 be­ing planted with the as­sis­tance of teach­ers, pupils and par­ents of St Mary’s School.

The re­sult­ing ex­ten­sion to the habi­tat is known as Ju­bilee Wood. One of the new trees is an oak sapling taken from one of the royal parks.

Amer­sham in Bloom said it is very grate­ful to all the schools that en­gaged and sup­ported its ac­tiv­i­ties this year.

Photos supplied

WIL­LOW WORK: Year Five pupils at St Mary’s CofE Pri­mary School, in Amer­sham, per­formed a sur­vey of Wil­low Wood

TEAM EF­FORT: The chil­dren joined Amer­sham in Bloom vol­un­teers and Amer­sham Town Coun­cil staff

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