The 10th Ascham Forest is planted out

The first Ascham Forest was established by students and staff at the property of an Ascham family in Spring Ridge in 2008. Since then over 6,500 trees have been planted at various Ascham family properties around the State. This green initiative is now in its 10th year, with the aim being that over time these forests, cumulatively, will offset the carbon emissions of our School.

Year 11 student Eleanor Michel reports here on the 10th Ascham Forest to be planted by our girls and staff.

‘Last week 43 girls from Year 11 headed out to the Allsopps’ farm in Wagga Wagga for Ascham’s annual tree planting expedition. After a Maths exam and a six-hour bus ride, we arrived at a very picturesque farm and set up our various sleeping arrangements in the shed, where we were told to rug up because the temperatures were expected to drop to -2 on the second night. After a quick dinner and a long night of bonding we rose early in the morning ready to plant some trees.

‘Mr Allsopp led us out towards the creek and explained the process of planting the trees and their importance to the permaculture of the area. Permaculture is the development of ecosystems in order to make them self-sufficient and sustainable. On the Allsopps’ farm this included the systematic planting of trees near the river bank in order to prevent erosion and create a natural irrigation system. Before lunch we managed to plant 250 trees of differing sizes in specific areas near the dam, which we sheltered with special plant covers. After a quick lunch, we started out again. This time we were given approximately 3,500 thin branches cut from previously existing willows and poplars, which we inserted into the moist soil along the river bank. According to Mr Allsopp at least half of the branches we planted would grow into trees, which would again decrease erosion and improve the quality of soil and create shady resting places for the cattle.

‘All in all, we planted approximately 1,750 trees on the property that would take root, which will hopefully have long lasting impacts on the permaculture and help to reduce Ascham’s carbon footprint.’

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