A project to plant a fruit orchard at boarding schools across
Britain is blossoming in Ripon as students leave a fruiting legacy for the
Boarders at Ripon Grammar School have planted a cherry tree as
part of the Boarding Schools Association initiative to create the largest
orchard, by distance, in the UK.
Girls who live at Johnson House, the grammar school's boarding
house for girls, unanimously chose 'cherry summer sun', or prunus avium, from
the list offered.
Lucy Mumford, 16, of Pickering, explained: "We were given a
choice but everyone wanted a cherry tree because they think it's pretty and we
can eat the fruit in the summer."
Digging deep: Beattie Knights, 16, Lucy Mumford, 16, and Millie
Dias, 17, plant the new cherry tree at Ripon Grammar School
The grammar school’s tree will be plotted on a special section of the
Boarding Schools Association website, which will expand and grow as the orchard develops across
The tree's arrival has coincided with the school building on its
boarding provision for the future with work underway on an extension to Johnson
House, which will see capacity increase from 38 to 50 girls from September.
The new extension will provide single rooms, primarily aimed at
sixth formers, as well as communal areas and additional accommodation for
Ripon Grammar is one of only 38 state boarding schools in
England, where education is free but boarding is paid for, and is a popular
choice for parents with jobs that take them out of the country, who live too
far from Ripon to do a daily commute or who want to give their children more
independence before university. The school also has 40 boy boarders aged 11-18.
Headmaster Martin Pearman said: "The girls were very keen to
join the Boarding Orchard initiative and to play their part in this national
initiative to plant more fruit trees across Britain.
"We're all looking forward to the tree blossoming in the
garden of Johnson House and complementing the new boarding extension when it's
completed later this year."
Visit the RIPON GRAMMAR SCHOOL WEBSITE.