Hidden costs

We take our responsibilities seriously, and we operate in the context we find ourselves. We are funded as we are, and we have the site and premises we have. One restricts what we can do about the other.

This week’s gem was the annual tree survey report.

Being blessed with a green, leafy, wooded site it is necessary for us to have that report and to take recommended actions. There are more than 50 mature trees, including ash, Lucombe oak, beech and Corsican pine as well as much younger fruit trees. The report tells us about each tree’s condition, life expectancy, bat habitat potential, priority for work, trunk diameter and recommended works.

The whole school loves working in the wood, and other trees around the site provide interest, shade, food, and a variety of habitats.

The report has warned us that one of the mature trees, at the top of the site, is an ash and appears to be suffering from Chalara ash dieback. We may have to have it felled following a further check at the point where it should be on full leaf. Because of its position, close to one of the mobile classrooms, any works will need a lot of machinery, including possible crane, ‘cherry-picker’ or scaffold support.

Safety first, of course, and the tree will have to go, but not surprisingly we haven’t included anything in the budget for this!

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