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Planting project helping to make New City College Tree-mendous!

A major tree planting initiative took place across New City College campuses this week in an effort to increase biodiversity, off-set the carbon footprint and improve the local community.
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A major tree planting initiative took place across New City College campuses this week in an effort to increase biodiversity, off-set the carbon footprint and improve the local community.

Volunteer students – many from Foundation Learning and SEND courses – were eager to get involved and enjoyed digging, planting and then watering the saplings in the sunshine.

The college received 109 native English trees, including Hazel, Crab Apple, Downy Birch, Goat Willow and Hawthorn from The Woodland Trust. These were planted, using equipment from the charity Tree Musketeers, in designated areas at six NCC campuses in Havering, Redbridge, Epping Forest and Tower Hamlets and will be fully mature in 10 years’ time.

Student Justin Agbonmamwen, from Havering Sixth Form, designed a poster and created the slogan Let’s Make New City College Tree-mendous, which was used to highlight the events.

Art & Design students from Ardleigh Green campus made sustainable tote bags with screen printed bespoke designs inspired by the initiative. These were handed out to volunteers after they had planted the trees.

Once planted, the trees were covered in mulch donated by Tom Duschesne from Top Garden Services, to help them grow quickly and retain water.

Students Ella Mulholland and Anastasia Pantiru said it was a good feeling to be helping the environment. Ella said: “It’s really cool and planting trees is fun. We’re happy to be doing something good for the planet and for future generations.”

Environmental Sustainability Manager Nina Delia said: “These trees will support the offsetting of NCC’s emissions whilst contributing to increasing the biodiversity of the campuses. This was such an important event because the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. We need to ensure that we take bold action to not only halt the decline of biodiversity in our natural environment, but pave the way for growth and change.”

Along with the tree planting, another green initiative that New City College is launching is to become hedgehog friendly.

Nina added: “There are only 50 per cent of hedgehogs left in England now compared to the year 2000. That’s why NCC has signed up for Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation.”

She said students on Construction courses at Tower Hamlets campus have made hedgehog homes as well as bird boxes, bat boxes and a bug hotel to encourage ecosystems and a thriving natural environment.

The tree planting took place at Havering Sixth Form (15 trees), Epping Forest (28 trees), Ardleigh Green (10 trees), Redbridge (34 trees), Rainham (20 trees) and Attlee, Arbour Square (2 trees).

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