Tree trail at Fife school encourages pupils to connect with nature

The official opening of the new Madras College took place recently, and one of the more unusual additions to the school is The Madras College Tree Trail – the brainchild of Principal Biology Teacher, Alan Runciman.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:30 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:30 am
Biology teacher Alan Runciman at one of the trees on the trail at Madras College.
Biology teacher Alan Runciman at one of the trees on the trail at Madras College.

Alan said: “The Tree Trail is a circuit of 26 trees. Each of the mainly native, or naturalised, species were chosen to represent either a department in the school or a group that works together for the benefits of the school community.

“The large Dawn Redwood tree – one of two at the centre of the trail – represents the learners in the school.

“The trees all have name posts so you can identify the species of tree and the department or group it represents.

“There are numerous benefits of playing and learning in a natural environment and we hope the trail encourages the current and future generations to become more connected with nature.

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“Pupils will help to look after the growing trail and we’ve also produced guides and quizzes to use with classes and so that visitors can find out about the range of trees in the trail, and how they’ve been associated with each department or group – staff, pupils, parents etc.”

The trail was planted in 2021. Each tree type will take a different length of time to become properly established.

Many can already flower and produce fruit in the Autumn. They are already a few years old but should continue to bed in and look fully mature in 10-20 years.