School students have helped plant two coniferous pine sapplings to replace a mature tree that was destroyed by a storm.

Saint Mary’s school and Conservation Department Tree Planting

Photos and story by Len Street

On Wednesday 1st March 2017, Students from classes 1 and 2 along with teacher Len Street teamed up with the island's Conservation Department to replant two coniferous pine trees, replacing a much larger specimen that was destroyed by a storm several years ago.
Students in front of the newly planted saplings.
Standing in front of a newly planted sapling - left to right: teacher Len Street, and Conservation’s Julian Repetto and George Swain, along with students from class 1 and 2

The origins of the original tree can be placed back to a bronze plaque that currently resides in the grounds of Saint Mary’s church. Inscribed on that plaque is the following…

"Planted by Paymaster Commander A.D.Duckworth HMS Carlisle 23.2.37"

Many islanders have fond memories of the original tree that once stood in a quiet and relatively sheltered location locally known as 'The Wash' adjacent to Wash gulch opposite the potato patches.The new saplings have been cultivated from seeds of the original tree and were donated to the community by Jean Swain and Marie Repetto. These trees were planted very close to where the parent tree once stood.

Students standing under and around the original tree Bronze plaque that marked the planting of the original tree by A.D Duckworth in 1937
Students standing under and around the original tree
 
The bronze plaque that marked the planting of the original tree by A.D.Duckworth in 1937
The students had an eventful morning not only experiencing the process of tree planting, but also learning a little more about native vegetation, plus spotting a Tristan Moorhen (island cock) and hearing a Tristan Thrush (starchy). Finally the excursion was rounded off by exploring the surrounding area on a short hike, where they were able to pick and sample native island berries.
Head of Conservation Trevor Glass overseeing the planting of one of the new saplings Students exploring the local area through sight, sound and taste!
Head of Conservation Trevor Glass overseeing the planting of one of the new saplings Students exploring the local area through sight, sound and taste!
It is hoped that in the years that follow students will be able to watch these saplings grow into fine specimens and perhaps return from time to time, recalling their experiences of planting them in their youth.