RL has been planting trees at in the Running Deer School woods: rowan, birch and oak, he tells me, showing which is which from the different leaves.
He tells me that oak like their space and birch like to be next to other birch trees, which has influenced how he and his caseworker placed them. He shows me how you make T shaped slit with the spade, and slide the sapling in. And he tells me how the tree cover will protect it from animals.
“I don’t like learning, I just like planting trees!” Says RL
“But this is learning” I say!
“Well…not the boring kind!’ He says.
It’s a beautiful spot, an area which had been cleared years before, and now these new trees form part of a rewilded area.
“In a few years these trees will be really tall” RL tells me. As he’s in year 7 now, he’ll be able to see them grow tall and mature as he does. And when he’s grown up he might be able to visit them and reflect on this time of his life.
It makes me smile to think that that planting trees can be part of RLs schooling- I wish it had been part of mine! Planting trees is what this world needs, perhaps more than some of the “boring kind” of learning that RL is talking about.