Reston’s community spirit wins support

Reston primary pupils try the outdoor class room which is a feature of the community forrest they have been helping ot plant
Reston primary pupils try the outdoor class room which is a feature of the community forrest they have been helping ot plant

The Reston Community Company continues to successfully attract support and this time it has won a Woodland Trust award - receiving 420 tree saplings.

The trees are all native to the British Isles and include oak, birch and hazel and last Thursday Reston Primary School pupils spent a very busy day down at the company land beside the Eye Water at Reston helping to plant some of the saplings.

(left to right:) Joshua, Zico, Samias and Rory help Richard from Borders Ground Force plant trees at Reston

(left to right:) Joshua, Zico, Samias and Rory help Richard from Borders Ground Force plant trees at Reston

The trees will help to establish a community woodland, complementing the fruit tree planting done last year as the start of a community orchard.

All years from Nursery to Primary 7 went down to take their turn to plant trees. Having learned about the importance of ecology and protecting the environment in class the pupils were able to put into practice what they learned by planting trees.

“We now move on to creating an adventure playground for the children,” said Barry Smith, company secretary for the Reston Community Company.

“We hope to start the first phase just after Easter next year and we will create a play area for toddlers and children up to about five years old. Then we will move on to try and secure funding for a play area for five to fourteen year old children”, Barry added.

After winning the People’s Millions Big Lottery Fund competition in 2008 when they received £58,400, the Reston Community Company secured the river bank, planted fruit trees and woodland trees, built an open air classroom for the school and on completion of the play ground will have what they hope will be a great local attraction for the people of Reston and surrounding areas.

From children playing and learning about nature in the open air classroom, through to families enjoying picnics and walks in the fresh air, the Reston Riverside Project has created a focal point for the whole community to meet.

Barry Smith, company secretary, Reston Community Company, said: “Although we are a small village in the country there weren’t that many places for children to play or for local people to come together to enjoy their environment. With the Reston Riverside Project we wanted to create a focus for the community that would be a green recreational space and an environmental space.

”As part of the project we have created an outdoor classroom structure where nursery and school children can learn about local wildlife. They have everything from underwater cameras to all-weather suits so that they can explore all that the area has to offer.”

Community events are also a big feature for the community land and during an Easter egg hunt and a community planting day volunteers turned out to plant over two thousand daffodils. Picnic tables and the community orchard add to this community space and Reston now has a community area to be proud of.

“It truly is an inter-generational project”, says Barry. “It’s been encouraging to see people of all ages, from pre-school children through to older people, making use of the space.

“We hope that by taking care of the area now we will be leaving behind a legacy for those children who grow up and decide to stay and live in the village.”