#1918oaks Project 

To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War we have thought of a number of ways to remember those local people who fought in that awful conflict. A central theme to these memorial acts has been to try to make something respectful but positive out of something so sad.

We therefore came up with idea of enlisting the help of other local schools to grow 1,918 native oaks to plant out in our local countryside.

Last Autumn, pupils from every year group at St. Mary's helped to collect thousands of acorns. In fact, we collected well over 2,000 from oaks from across the Scottish Borders.

These were planted out by local children visiting the school during the Bang Goes The Borders science festival in trays bought using funds from the Scotland's Finest Woods Awards prize money. The trays were then arranged in squirrel-proof nurseries made from scrap pallets supplied by local blind and awnings company, Dash Components in Selkirk. Finally, the nurseries were covered with rabbit netting to keep out the pesky rodents.

Since building the box nurseries and sowing the acorns we now have over 2,000 native oaks growing in five schools across the Borders, Lauder, Melrose, Stow and St. Mary's Schools has one on their grounds. Langlee Primary School is soon to take delivery of the fifth nursery.

We hope that by Armistice Day 2020, each of the five schools will have c400 little oaks to plant out in their local area. What is more, we aim to undertake this project annually to involve more schools and thousands more oak trees across a much wider area.

Well done to all involved!

Each box nursery contains cells planted with over 400 acorns.

The acorns were collected and planted by children from every year group at St. Mary's

They have hand-painted signs.

Because they're made from pallets they are really easy to stack up!

This is the one at Melrose Primary School.

Tom Rawson, 01/03/2019