Students at Writtle University College (WUC) have been picking up their spades to create a greener, more sustainable future.
On December 8th, dozens of volunteers planted over 240 trees. It was the first of several planting events planned for the winter and supported by students and staff, including WUC's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Middleton.
The initiative was launched by new student society, The Gaia Club. Its members aim to add around 750 new trees to WUC's estate over the next few months.
Club President and BSc (Hons) Horticulture student, Petar Popara, said: "The Gaia Club is dedicated to making WUC's estate greener and more sustainable. The trees will be a major contribution to carbon sequestration and increased biodiversity. Thank you to everyone who has helped us to make this possible."
The new saplings include oaks and hornbeams, alongside edible crops such as walnuts and cobnuts. Most of the species were donated by the 'I Dig Trees' campaign which is supported by OVO Energy and is currently in its seventh year. Additional trees were sourced by WUC's staff.
Dr Anya Perera, WUC's Head of School for Sustainable Environments and Design, said: "We're very proud of The Gaia Club. This outstanding student-led initiative will have a positive impact on our estate and the environment. It will be also be a key addition to our new regenerative agriculture project, which offers students opportunities to research sustainable and restorative methods of food production."
The new regenerative agriculture project is supported by the Essex National Farmers' Union (NFU) Charitable Trust. Work will continue throughout 2022 with crops specifically chosen to enhance soil, recover and promote biodiversity and mitigate impacts of climate change.