Trees planted with schools for Global Tree Planting Project #Newnham150

More trees have been planted near, in Cambridge, and far, in Guernsey…

Jo Burch (NC 1983), Former President of Roll Committee, joined Gemma Simmonds (1977) of the Cambridge local alumnae group and pupils of St Alban’s Primary School to plant a field maple which is good for making musical instruments.  

The occasion was to celebrate the life of Anna Fetzer-Pimblott, a pianist who inspired music-making at the School, and to inspire future generations of music-makers. 

Jo Burch said “It was a privilege for Gemma and I to share in the School’s celebration of their former music teacher. There was a lovely ceremony with memories of Anna being shared and with young (and very self-possessed) pupils reading poems and playing music. The children promised that they wouldn’t try to tap the tree for maple syrup or chop it down to make instrument!” 

In Guernsey, the site at The Ladies’ College was chosen by the students. It is a spot where girls from the senior and junior school walk past everyday. This tree is the first of their 150 trees to celebrate their 150th anniversary.  

Michelle Le Chemiant (NC 2003), who gave a short speech – see below – was joined by three other Newnhamites for the planting – Jenny Cataroche (NC 2003) , Alex Haining (NC 1979) and Sarah Morris. Miss MacDonald, Michelle’s old headmistress also attended. 

Michelle reports, “I returned to Guernsey 2 years ago to work as an anaesthetist at the MSG. I’m really excited to be here today bringing together the celebration of 150 years of two outstanding educational institutions, Newnham College, Cambridge and The Ladies College, Guernsey. Both of which I was fortunate enough to attend! They were founded in 1871 and 72 respectively, and were both pioneering in their vision to inspire, support and nurture young women to achieve their full potential. 

Both Ladies College and Newnham produce women with quiet determination, courage and curiosity who have the tenacity to tackle global issues such as climate change. 

So a tree planting project is a fantastic way to celebrate 150 years of these two colleges whilst supporting future generations to come. 

Trees are our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change. Not only do they capture carbon, they help protect against flooding, reduce pollution and keep the soil nutrient rich. 

Today we are planting Betula jacquemontii – a variant of silver birch. Native to the Himalayas. It owes its common name to the white peeling bark on the trunk. This is a hardy tree, rather fittingly a pioneer – one of the first to re-appear on bare or fire swept land. It will grow eventually to about 20m, supporting a variety of birds and insects, as well as providing shade and beauty for future generations of students.”