Pupils from Howard Community Academy in Bury St Edmunds recently planted a very special Silver Birch tree in their Healing Wood which they received, as one of only four trees gifted to Suffolk, from the ‘Tree of Trees’ constructed in the Mall last June for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Tree of Trees was part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project and the organisers decided to distribute the trees amongst the participating counties in the UK, to locations where it was considered they could be viewed and enjoyed by as many people as possible, with the aim of making us all feel part of the same great project, in honour of the long reign of a loved and much respected monarch.

The Silver Birch tree at Howard Community Academy was planted as part of their wider Healing Wood project, which now has over 300 trees with more to follow later this year, creating reflective spaces that the pupils, staff and community can enjoy for generations to come.

Councillor Richard Rout, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment, for Suffolk County Council said:

“Receiving a tree from Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Tree of Trees sculpture is a fantastic reward for the children’s hard work and dedication to caring for their environment. In time, this place will be so important for the school and the local community, and to have such a special tree as part of our healing wood is incredibly touching.”

Alison Weir, Headteacher at Howard Community Academy said:

“It is such a fantastic opportunity to be involved with this great project. Our children have benefitted immensely from planting our Healing Wood, learning to care for their environment. We look forward to enjoying this tree for years to come.”

Frank Carn-Pryor, Sports & Outdoor Activity Officer at Abbeycroft Leisure, runs the Forest School sessions at the Academy and has worked with the school and Suffolk County Council to secure the Healing Wood and Silver Birch. Frank commented:

“It’s been such a pleasure working on this project as we see every week how much the children benefit and thrive from taking part in physical activity outside and learning to respect and care for their natural environment.”

Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning said:

“It is a great honour for Howard Community Academy to have received such an interesting and meaningful addition to their already brilliant Healing Wood. The positive impact that the woodland has had on pupil’s wellbeing and outlook towards caring for their local environment will only increase as it continues to expand.”

Kids at Howard Community grilling sausages on outside camp fire
Group standing around the Silver Birch tree at Howard Community Academy


Our Explore Outdoor team works with schools and youth groups on a range of activities and initiatives.

As well as this, they also offer activity days and family park cooking each school holiday.