Kings Hedges councillors have joined forces with four Cambridge colleges to replace trees that were vandalised at Kings Hedges Educational Federation on Northfield Avenue. Last month, vandals broke into the woodland area at the school and cut down several trees with a chainsaw, leaving staff and pupils devastated.
County councillor Elisa Meschini, who is also a governor at the school, expressed her concern on hearing about the damage;
“I know from my work as a governor at the school how much benefit the children get from the woodland area, which is why it is so distressing that someone would intentionally damage it in this way.
“We were delighted that we could help replace the trees that were lost, and I look forward to seeing them grow and the area develop into something even more special.”
Cllr Alex Collis, who represents King’s Hedges on Cambridge City Council, got in touch with her sister Charlotte who is the head gardener at Newnham College and asked if there was anything they could do to help. She explained;
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generous response to our appeal for help. Not only did Newnham donate replacement shrubs and trees, but they also sent along Alicia and Paul, two of their team of gardeners to oversee the replanting – and got some of the other colleges involved too. We really can’t thank them enough. The children were so pleased, and it was great to chat to them while we were digging and hear what it meant to them to see the trees being replaced. We’ve promised to go along in the holidays and make sure they’re kept watered too.”
Head gardeners at Christ’s, King’s and Robinson all chipped in too, even donating some birch trees to fill the gap left by the vandals. All four Kings Hedges councillors, Elisa and Alex along with ward colleagues Kevin Price and Martin Smart went along last week to help with the replanting.
Harriet Truscott from Newnham College explained why they wanted to get involved;
“We were shocked to hear about the vandalism – the woodland is a wonderful space for children to play and connect with nature. Newnham College believes that gardens have a key role in physical and mental wellbeing, and green space is vitally important for primary school children, just as it is for adults. We were delighted to be able to share some of our plants with the school.”