Children help grow trees for proposed new reservoir site

Pupils from Warren Park Primary have visited a proposed new reservoir site and been given tree saplings to plant and grow on at their school to bring back next year for planting.

Twenty children, aged between five and 11-years old, joined Portsmouth Water staff for a talk and a tour of the site between Warren Park, Leigh Park and Rowlands Castle, in Havant.

The children helped plant trees around the reservoir site, before choosing a sapling each to take back to their outdoor classroom, where pupils will nurture and help the trees to grow for 18 months before returning them to the site to plant in a new location.

It is hoped the children will enjoy visiting the site in future years to see their own trees grow and flourish at the planned new reservoir and leisure facility.
Portsmouth Water is planning to invest more than £100 million to build a new reservoir at the site, which would help secure reliable water resources for the South East, which is under ‘water stress’. The reservoir site would also provide ‘green’ community and leisure facilities for communities in Havant as well as a new wetland area for birds.

Volunteers from Staunton Country Park and Portsmouth Water have already helped to plant hundreds of new trees and hedgerow plants on the site to create a woodland corridor, to provide valuable habitats for birds and mammals such as dormice and bats.

Carole Jeal, of Warren Park Primary, said: “We were delighted to be involved with this project which is right on our doorstep. We will get every child in the school to help nurture these saplings so every pupil is part of this fantastic project. We have our own outdoor classroom which the children really enjoy, so this is a perfect project for us to be involved with. The children really enjoyed their visit to the site.”

Tracey Viney, of Portsmouth Water, said: “We want the whole community to be part of this the new proposed reservoir, so it was great to have schoolchildren here at the site. The reservoir would not only secure our water supplies but also could become a first-class recreational community facility for our customers.”
The planting project is supported by Natural England, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council.

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