Youngsters learn the science of trees at The Alnwick Garden
Schoolchildren descended on The Alnwick Garden last week armed with magnifying glasses and learning guides to discover more about trees and the environment.
Environmental and community scientists from Newcastle University were on hand to tell them the importance of trees and help identify different species.
The pupils from St Paul’s School in Alnwick set off with community scientist Jonathan Smith and environmental scientist Paul White down the Woodland Walk, where they planted some saplings.
The university team has been working closely with teachers and children to understand how and where trees grow and how to care for them. They were also at the Garden yesterday and today (Tuesday) to teach more of the region's schoolchildren about the ecosystem of trees.
To support the initiative, the Duchess of Northumberland and The Alnwick Garden is giving every child who visits the Garden at half-term this week a free sapling to plant in the Woodland Walk or take home to plant.
Jonathan said: "As thousands of families and children visit the Garden, we are delighted to help them learn about the importance of getting back in touch with nature.
"We will be encouraging children and their families to develop the scientific skills that will help them investigate their environments. Getting wrapped up and out and about on the Woodland Walk at The Alnwick Garden is a fun and practical way to be learning, from planting trees to examining leaves and bark is the perfect, interactive way to be educated.
"The initiative doesn't just get children active and fitter, but also allows them to learn about the environment around them, which in turn will become a crucial part of the academic research process."
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Head gardener Trevor Jones said: “This is all about making gardening and the outdoors fun while learning. We have made a conscious decision to give every child who visits The Alnwick Garden a sapling to plant here in the Woodland Walk or to take home. This is practical learning at its best and we are delighted to welcome the scientific team from Newcastle University.”
As part of the half-term activities, the Garden is also giving everyone who purchases an admission ticket during the week a voucher for a round of Adventure Golf, valid to use on the day or until March 28, 2018.