Sidcot was delighted to become the latest school to participate in Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) ‘Boarding Orchard’ scheme, when it welcomed National Director Robin Fletcher on Monday 12 October.
The Boarding Orchard was launched by the BSA in 2014. It aims to be largest orchard, by distance, in the UK and involves boarding schools joining the orchard by planting fruit trees in their grounds. The trees symbolise the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrate each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. Since launch, schools across the UK - including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have joined The Boarding Orchard, and trees have also been planted at boarding schools in Switzerland and the USA.
Robin was joined by Headmaster Iain Kilpatrick and a number of the school’s boarding students to plant a ‘red devil’ apple tree in the school’s Yurt Village. Also present were members of SAGE – Sidcot Action for a Greener Environment as the scheme speaks to the heart of environmental stewardship which is a key value at the school.
Deputy Head Matt Williams said: "It was a pleasure to show Robin around the school and in particular our boarding facilities. He felt that the homely and nurturing environment of the boarding houses was a great indication of the school’s commitment to excellent pastoral care. We hope to see the tree thrive and bear fruit; in the same way we hope our students will grow and blossom during their time at Sidcot."
And the orchard will not be the end; a cookbook is set to follow, once the trees have had a chance to flourish and bloom. The BSA will be visiting participating schools to collect different recipes that have been trialled using the fruits of the trees planted. Robin was also interested to hear that Sidcot now has its own apple press and promised to return to sample some of our produce.