More than 100 primary school pupils in Coventry have dug in to help create a multispecies forest that will educate city youngsters in the future.

Year 5 and 6 pupils from across the Romero Catholic Academy, which is comprised of seven Coventry primary schools, gathered at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School for the third Romero Eco-Day, and began the process of planting more than 300 trees that will grow to become the ‘Wiseman Wood’.

The wood, which is located behind the school’s main playing fields, will serve as a learning and reflection space for current and future pupils, containing saplings of birch, coppice, apple and cherry trees, as well as holly, hawthorn and wildflower meadows to encourage birds and insects to pass through the school’s grounds.

The day marked 15 years since King Charles III visited the school to plant a lime tree in its grounds, to celebrate Earth Day in 2008.

Pupils also had the opportunity to make their own bird feeders from recycled items, while learning about the ecology of plant-life and nature within the school in a carousel of activities.

The event was led by pupils from Cardinal Wiseman’s Eco Club, a group of 12 pupils who meet weekly to discuss eco-friendly changes that can be made around the school, as well as long-term initiatives like the Wiseman Wood that future pupils will benefit from.

Benita, who is part of the Eco Club, said:

“I think it’s great that we are able to get involved in these kinds of activities at school as it’s something we should all be thinking about, especially for the younger generation who will be leading climate action into the future.

“Planning and hosting the day has been a really exciting experience, and I hope the younger pupils will take a lot away from it, including in their curriculum learning at school.”

James Elkins, Science Teacher and Eco Club Coordinator at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, said:

“We are extremely proud of the eco-learning and green initiatives that we deliver at Cardinal Wiseman, with pupils always at the heart of these activities. We are also applying to Eco Schools to hopefully attain Green Flag status for our school.

“We have been ambitious in our long-term goals to ensure pupils have good knowledge of the natural world and the issues facing it, and today has represented a great chance to continue bringing more of the Romero family into the fold.”

Kelly Smith, teacher at St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, said:

“For some of our pupils it is their third Eco Day. They have learnt so much along the way and their enthusiasm has been absolutely amazing. They are really keen to learn about how they can help to save the planet.

“The day has given us plenty of ideas for exciting projects and activities to bring back and implement at our own school, and it’s been brilliant to be involved.”

The day was also supported by Jonathan Ensell, who is the founder of Roots to Fruit Midlands, a horticulture education programme.

He said: “In terms of practical educational facilities related to nature and the environment, I’ve not seen anything close to the scale of what Cardinal Wiseman and the Romero Academy are doing.

“The features they have created today will provide multiple generations of learners with incredible opportunities to learn about the natural world.”

Responding to the Call of Creation