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Veolia Orchard is back to help schools blossom with biodiversity across Gedling borough

A Veolia Orchard is made up of five young fruit trees to bring nature and biodiversity to playgrounds, big or small.

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This week (5) saw the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day and Veolia, in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, is asking Gedling borough schools to help them grow their network of orchards across the county.

In 2022, Veolia Nottinghamshire and its charity partners Groundwork, delivered 35 free fruit trees to seven schools across the borough. In 2023, Veolia wants to grow this network of orchards and support more schools on their environmental journeys.

Nottinghamshire County Council announced on June 7 that this initiative was launched in 2022 to foster a deeper connection with nature whilst empowering students with the skills to take care of their local environments.

100 schools across the country are already benefiting from these powerful tools to educate pupils on the importance of planting trees and the biodiversity they support.

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A Veolia Orchard is made up of five young fruit trees to bring nature and biodiversity to playgrounds, big or small.

Nottinghamshire County Council advise that schools can apply online at www.veolia.co.uk/veolia-orchard between Monday 5 June and Monday 24 July with successful applicants being informed in September with deliveries taking place during October and November.

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director, Municipal at Veolia said:

“It only takes five fruit trees to make an orchard but it takes a nation to grow a network of trees that can help us fight climate change and improve air quality for our children.

“In 2022, we were excited to see this new initiative take root. This year, we are overwhelmed by how successful Veolia Orchard has been and eager for this network to grow and thrive.

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“With 100 schools already taking care of their trees in 2023, we encourage all schools in Nottinghamshire (excluding the city) to apply and help us deliver ecological transformation, one orchard at a time.”

Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council said:

“We’re delighted to be running this campaign in Nottinghamshire once again and are sure that our schools will appreciate having the chance to improve their outdoor spaces by planting fruit trees.

“Planting fruit trees provides local school children with the chance to get their hands dirty while learning at the same time. Not only does it help to increase their understanding of where their food comes from, it also helps to support the fight against climate change.”

Joe McIndoe, UK Partnerships Manager at Groundwork said: “Groundwork is delighted to be working alongside Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council to deliver the Veolia Orchard planting project for the second year running, with this year set to double the number of schools benefitting.

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“It’s such a simple yet impactful project to provide fruit trees and strawberry plants to schools across the country. More children can have the pleasure of picking and eating juicy fresh food whilst sitting in the dappled shade in the summer and providing a home, and food, for local biodiversity.

A handy booklet will be provided to all schools so that they can plant and care for their new trees. We can’t wait to see more smiling faces as they plant their trees in autumn.”

The full press release from Nottinghamshire County Council can be accessed HERE.

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