Winners announced in 'Tiser Trees competition

Shay Bottomley

The winners have been announced for the maiden ’Tiser Trees competition in which schoolchildren could win a tree for their playground.

Fifteen successful applicants have been chosen from across the town after responding to the question in no more than 250 words: why do we need more trees in Maidenhead?

COP26 and, more locally, the recent declaration of a climate emergency in the Royal Borough has highlighted the importance of protecting the planet.

Trees play a vital role in combating climate change. Furthermore, the darkest days of the lockdowns and the pandemic highlighted the important role the environment can have on improving mental health.

The competition was held to celebrate the Advertiser’s 150th anniversary with 15 trees, one for each decade of the Advertiser’s existence, up for grabs.

They have been bought with money donated by The Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust, and were provided by Stubbings Nursery Ltd.

Schools around the town including Burchetts Green, Highfield, Furze Platt Junior and Infant School and St Edmund Campion will see a new tree planted as a result of their pupils’ entries.

Successful entrants won a variety of trees including crab apple (malus ‘Evereste’), flowering cherry (prunus ‘autumnalis rosea’) and mountain ash (sorbus ‘aucuparia’).

The 6ft trees were provided in 12 litre pots with compost, a tree tie, stake and a plaque to mark the Advertiser’s 150th year.

One student, Lila Bowley, entered the competition but her school, Boyne Hill, was unable to find room in the playground. Instead, she took care of the tree herself and planted it in her own garden.

Her father, Dan, said: “Lila couldn't believe it, she paused and said ‘what? I've won! I've won a tree!’

“She will be talking about it for a long time to come, and will be proud that she achieved that.

“Nature is a big theme for her generally, in both in writing and art. She didn't need any persuading to write about trees, and when she wrote that they are a place to reflect, it made us smile.

“I think it’s important for kids to be involved in both community and nature. Life moves quick sometimes - if you don't slow down you miss it, so sit under a tree and reflect.”

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