Pupils Saving Endangered Trees
Children from four local primary schools – Goudhurst, Lamberhurst, Sandhurst and Downe – visited the Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury National Pinetum, near Goudhurst, where they learned about the lives of children in Malawi, their critically endangered national tree, the Mulanje cedar, and toured the Pinetum to learn about its tree conservation work and to meet some rare trees.
Each of the local primaries has links to schools in Malawi through the work of the charity Starfish Malawi.
After learning about the plight of the Mulanje cedar the children had fun planting wild-collected seeds from the critically endangered trees in the Pinetum nursery. The seedlings will form part of the propagation trials for the Save Our Cedar project, which Bedgebury National Pinetum is supporting.
The project in Malawi will map Mulanje mountain, identifying remaining cedar trees and the best planting sites. Local community members will receive training in nursery techniques and enterprise development and will be supported in setting up nurseries around the Mountain.
Forestry Commission staff travel the world to collect seeds from rare and endangered species for propagation and are supported in this work by the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum.
• Visit www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury