School- Community Group

Here you can find out what Andover Schools, in Partnership with Transition Town Andover, are up to. The main project is a major one, designed to run for at least 10 years. Andover Trees United, with the aim to create a woodland for Andover is part of the United Nations Environment Program "Plant a Billion Trees campaign". Other projects of this group are in conjunction with projects of the Food Group and local artists.

      ANDOVER TREES UNITED 2011-2021
 creating a Diamond Jubilee Woodland for Andover
            (Click on the Text or Tree to see a Video of the planting.)

The aim of Andover Trees United
This year is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Transition Town Andover is supporting local schools in their ambition to create a woodland for Andover. In so doing, we will be helping to create one of the Woodland Trust’s dedicated Diamond Woods, new woodlands that are at least 60 acres in size.
The aim
of Andover Trees United is also for every young person in the town and surrounding villages, over a ten-year period, to have contributed to the woodland by planting a tree in their school nursery bed and later moving it to the woodland itself

Mission Statement: The Statement outlines the aims and objectives of this project in more detail.

What has happened so far

Currently 18 schools are involved from infant to 6th Form College.
In November and December 2011 these schools built tree nurseries in their grounds and hundreds of pupils planted 1200 tree whips in total. But none of this would have been possible without a strong and dedicated team of School Support Gardeners, who helped in all weathers whenever needed to build the tree nurseries and plant the whips.

Furthermore, all schools have been involved in the design of the name and logo for this wonderful project. A big thank you
to the children who submitted logo designs and name suggestions for the project to their teachers who helped to organise this and to the Mayor and Lady Mayor for their time in selecting the finalists. Three designs were chosen and amalgamated into one. The final design can be seen above. A further five of the original designs were chosen to be printed on T- Shirts. Thank you everybody!

Inspired by the aims of our project, the Dance Family Trust and Hampshire County Council (HCC) have made available over 40 acres of land between the Smannell Rd and Enham Alamein, which will form part of Hampshire’s Diamond Wood. ATU is entering into a licensed agreement with HCC to lease 7 acres of this site on which we as a community will plant, care for and develop a ‘woodland within a woodland’. 
A map of the whole woodland site can be downloaded here.
The Woodland will be designed around ideas generated by young and old within our community. So far all Andover Schools have also been involved in the design of the woodland by school children drawing their ideas of the woodland and bringing ideas of what the woodland should include to the table. A draft of the design can be downloaded here.

It also has to be mentioned that Andover Trees United is now a constituted body with an established committee. Additionally, different action groups have been set up. These groups are: Communication Group, Funding Group, Schools Support Gardeners Group, Site development and management Group, Community Group

What is going to happen next
Between November 26th and December 7th 2012, the tree whips in the school nursery beds will be planted out into the area of the community woodland, the first of many such plantings, which will grow into Andover’s own community woodland. This is going to be a major project as there are 1100 whips to be transported and replanted by the 2000 children who initially planted up the nursery beds last autumn.
As nursery beds are emptied, new tree whips arrive and will be planted by the next group of young people to be involved. As young people move from school to school they will have repeated opportunities to contribute to the woodland. Through their involvement with the project we hope that they will learn about the importance of trees in helping to maintain the health of the planet and to act as ambassadors within the community by involving their families, friends and colleagues. In this way, supplemented by a dedicated ‘Community Group’, we hope to engage with the whole community.

Also to keep this project rolling all the different action groups will work together and there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved. Help us to realise this groundbreaking project! We need: planners, fundraisers, builders, engineers, designers, artists, gardeners, film-makers, ecologists… or if you just love trees and woodlands and would like to get involved with any aspect of the project and being part of making history for Andover please contact Wendy Davis

Transition Town Andover is working with national and regional organisations including the Earth Restoration Service (a charity that provides schools with young trees), the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Trust, Hampshire County Council, Earthwatch, Garden Organic, Hampshire Gardens Trust, Hampshire Country Learning and TVBC to help realise the project.

The Restoration Service published a longer article about Andover Trees United on their web page. Have a look!

School Support Gardeners 
One imported element of Andover Trees United is the establishment of a local network of volunteers to work with schools and ultimately the wider community to plant and care for the trees over the coming years. You don’t have to be an expert, just the will to encourage others to have a go.

Volunteers are needed for:
- Helping to create school tree nurseries
- Digging over the (up to) 15m by 1m plots
- Digging in soil conditioner
- Supporting teachers and children in planting trees

What you need:
- An enthusiasm for gardening
- No CRB required
- Volunteers may work in groups as well as independently with their allotted school
- Full training in working with teachers and students will be provided

This is a taster for volunteers to potentially become 'Master Gardeners’, a prospective role which we hope will be developed in 2012 by local partners and national charity Garden Organic. Volunteers would be actively supported to mentor schools and communities to grow trees, plant woodlands, meadows and more. To register your interest, please contact Wendy on

Links to our  partners are to be found here:
Woodland Trust           Forestry Commission            Test Valley Borough Council    Andover Vision      Charles Flower      Earthwatch Institute    Earth Restoration Service    Hampshire Garden Trust          Garden Organic     The Country Trust  

Art Projects for Eatable Spaces

Several schools in Andover have been involved in creating different Art objects for the Sky Community Orchard at Topaz Drive and the Food Borders at Vigo Park.

Skye Orchard
Harrow Way School art students have made clay name labels for the fruit trees at the Orchard.
Portway Junior and Infant Schools as well as Harrow Way School are hands on involved in creating a Mosaic Name Panel for the orchard.

Vigo Park Food Beds
Schools around Vigo Park, Vigo Junior and Infants Schools and Andover C of E Primary School, have been involved in the making of an art sculpture, which will be embedded within the food beds, as well as making aluminium leaf labels for the plants.