Published: Tuesday, 27th June 2023

Veolia and Medway are asking schools to help them deliver ecological transformation by applying for a Veolia Orchard.

A Veolia Orchard is made up of five young fruit trees or, for those schools with more limited space, ten strawberry plants which can thrive in pots and bring nature and biodiversity to playgrounds, big or small.

In 2022, Veolia and their charity partners Groundwork, delivered 500 free fruit trees to 100 schools across the country. In 2023, we want to grow this network of orchards and support more schools on their environmental journeys.

This initiative was launched in 2022 to foster a deeper connection with nature whilst empowering students with the skills to take care of their local environments.

Across the country, 100 schools are already benefiting from these powerful tools to educate pupils on the importance of planting trees and the biodiversity they support.

Schools can apply online at until Monday, 24 July. Successful applicants will be informed in September with deliveries taking place during October and November. The trees and plants will be accompanied by an information pack on how to plant and how to harvest the fruit, making this a unique learning opportunity for pupils.

Improving biodiversity and teaching children how to look after trees

Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Climate Change: “We are delighted that Veolia is inviting schools to apply for an orchard. We know that children and young people are passionate about climate change and this initiative will help improve biodiversity at schools across Medway and teach children how to plant and look after trees. I would encourage schools across Medway to find out more and apply.”

Eager for this network to grow and thrive

Pascal Hauret, Managing Director, Municipal at Veolia said: “It only takes five fruit trees to make an orchard but it takes a nation to grow a network of trees that can help us fight climate change and improve air quality for our children. In 2022, we were excited to see this new initiative take root. This year, we are overwhelmed by how successful Veolia Orchard has been and eager for this network to grow and thrive. With 100 schools already taking care of their trees in 2023, we encourage all schools in Medway to apply and help us deliver ecological transformation, one orchard at a time.”

Simple yet impactful project

Joe McIndoe, UK Partnerships Manager, Groundwork: 1 “Groundwork is delighted to be working alongside Veolia to deliver the Veolia Orchard planting project for the second year running, with this year set to double the number of schools benefitting. It’s such a simple yet impactful project to provide fruit trees and strawberry plants to schools across the country. More children can have the pleasure of picking and eating juicy fresh food whilst sitting in the dappled shade in the summer and providing a home, and food, for local biodiversity. A handy booklet will be provided to all schools so that they can plant and care for their new trees. We can’t wait to see more smiling faces as they plant their trees in autumn."

Find out more and apply

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