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Yorkshire Bank branches out with Greener School Gardens scheme

20th May 2009

Yorkshire Bank is marking its 150th anniversary by launching a new Greener School Gardens campaign at Nostell Priory near Wakefield with the help of the National Trust.  The Bank, which sponsors the National Trust’s Outdoor Programme, will today plant 150 heritage apple trees – including old Yorkshire varieties, recreating the Priory’s historic orchard. In addition, school children across Yorkshire will be able to apply for an apple tree and education pack to help make their school garden greener.

Pupils from Mill Dam School in Wakefield will help Yorkshire Bank volunteers to plant the 150 apple trees at Nostell Priory in the very same spot where an orchard stood some 40 years ago. The National Trust is working to reintroduce and preserve regional fruit varieties, so Yorkshire heritage apples such as ‘Yorkshire Beauty’ and ‘Flower of the Town’ were a natural choice for the new Yorkshire Bank 150th anniversary orchard.

The Greener School Gardens initiative will see Yorkshire Bank and the National Trust challenge schools across Yorkshire to make their gardens more environmentally friendly. The organisations are asking children to get involved with the campaign, which runs until 13th June, by nominating their school to take part.  Successful schools will receive a ‘Yorkshire heritage’ apple tree and an education pack, which includes simple advice and instructions on how to create a wormery, collect rain water and produce compost.

Dean Cutbill, Director for Yorkshire Bank, said: “At Yorkshire Bank, we’re very aware of the importance of cutting our carbon footprint, both at home and at work.  As we’ve pledged to be totally carbon neutral across our UK business by September 2010, each of us needs to make concrete changes to be greener in our everyday behaviour. 

“Our sponsorship of the National Trust’s Outdoor Programme provides us with a great opportunity to extend this effort further, helping children understand how they can become greener in their school gardens and reduce their carbon footprint too, in a fun and interesting way.

“In our anniversary year, it’s very fitting that we’ve launched the campaign today by planting 150 trees and recreating the orchard that once stood here at Nostell Priory.” 

Raoul Curtis-Machin, Gardens and Parks Advisor, from the National Trust, said: “Today’s a very exciting day for everybody at Nostell and we’re delighted to have the orchard back after so many years away.”

“Children are typically incredibly switched on to the need to take positive steps in order to prevent further climate change.  By giving them new tools to achieve this and help schools make the most of their green space, Greener School Gardens promises to be a fun campaign with a serious message that can really make a difference.”

An initial crop of 10 Yorkshire heritage apple trees will be made available to schools from the orchard this year.  Further trees will be propagated from the orchard as it matures, allowing more schools to benefit in future years.

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