Student volunteers spruce up community by planting 420 trees

Date published: 22 March 2020

Hopwood Hall College students planted 420 trees to improve the appearance of the local area and attract wildlife to the community.

A team made up of energetic volunteer students who are studying BTEC Diplomas in Public Services spent hours heave-hoeing under the guidance of the Parks and Countryside Manager for Rochdale Council, Mike Cummings, in Middleton.

The group has previously helped out at Rochdale Foodbank, with future plans in place for them to tidy up graves at Rochdale Cemetery.

The seeds were from the Woodland Trust, who – alongside Sainsbury’s and the Postcode Lottery – is encouraging people to plant the next generation of forestry.

The trees will one day be visible at the entrance of the College, providing a welcome view for residents and visitors along Rochdale Road.

Simon Rogers, Uniformed Public Services Teaching Assistant at Hopwood Hall College, said: “The students are doing their bit to promote conservation. I think it will be their legacy in years to come.

“They get to feel like they are doing something for the community – and they are already realising what they will get out of it. These trees will grow into a wood and in years to come the students will be able to see the fruits of their labour.”

Mike Cummings, the Parks and Countryside Manager for Rochdale Council, said: “I think what the students are doing is very important. When I was their age I took part in similar activities with other volunteers. I can now go back and see how these areas have changed more than 20 years later. It’s great that the students will have the same opportunity.

“The volunteers came up with some interesting techniques when planting the trees – but they were working!”

Louise Giblin, studying a Level 2 Diploma in Public Services, said: “We are doing this to make the college look better. We want the surrounding area to look neater and tidier. Once there are trees and plants, they will only make this a nicer place to be.”

Emma Maloney, studying a Level 2 Diploma in Public Services, said: “Our efforts will bring in more birds and make the area look pretty for when we look back at the college after we have gone into our careers in public service.

“The weather was lovely, but if it helps the community we would have been there anyway. If it helps others then it doesn’t matter about the weather.”

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