Students from St Margaret’s School for Girls took to the hills to help reverse some of the devastation caused by Storm Arwen by restoring a section of woodland which suffered extensive damage during November 2021.

Dozens of families from St Margaret’s School for Girls, with the help of teachers and friends, planted over 400 tree saplings provided by the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, at Whitehill Woods between Blairdaff and the Bennachie Centre.

Retired St Margaret’s Art Teacher, Jane Richardson, on whose land the trees were planted, said:

“We are so grateful to St Margaret’s families for their hard work in planting 420 native species which will help to restore the local biodiversity. Our volunteers were not deterred by the wintry weather conditions and made a mammoth effort to get the job done.”

Head of Sustainability at St Margaret’s School for Girls, Abby Miller, said:

“Our first tree-planting project as a school was a huge success and everyone got stuck in! This initiative has helped our students connect with nature and improve our local environment, in particular helping to repair some of the damage caused by last year's Storm Arwen.

“Our goal is to facilitate Learning for Sustainability in the curriculum at every level, and we have woven aspects of this project into many subjects, our IIS maths students were even helping to calculate the spacing required for best planting conditions!”

Marcy, a fifth year student, who helped plant the trees, said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the tree planting experience. We live in such a beautiful part of the country and it is exciting to think that in years to come we will be able to look at this woodland and know that we played a part in planting it. It is great to think that we helped our local environment.”

George Anderson of Woodland Trust Scotland commented:

“We are facing both a climate emergency and a nature crisis. Planting trees is one of the simplest and most effective responses to both problems. Twice a year the Woodland Trust distributes free trees to schools and community groups across the UK. We are delighted that St Margaret's School for Girls is getting involved.”

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