Improving genetic diversity for future

editorial image

GREEN fingers and thumbs were at the ready last week when children from Buckingham Primary School helped to plant black poplars in a town park.

Aylesbury Vale District Council’s biodiversity birthday officer, Hilary Phillips, has been working with several eco-schools across the district linking biodiversity projects with school curriculums.

As part of the project, pupils from Year Four planted 25 cuttings in Heartlands Park. These were all female clones and it is hoped they will be pollinated by the male clones around the park.

At a future date, there are plans to plant a larger area of woodland in the western area of the park, containing a mixture of broad-leaved trees. The trees are expected to provide opportunities for study as the children follow the trees’ growth and development.

Further planting will take place on February 19 and 23 and families are invited to help Hilary and the Vale Countryside Volunteers with this project.

The woodland planting is part-funded by Heritage Lottery Funding and the Environment Agency, who have been consulted throughout the development of the project.

Black poplars are one of the rarest species of tree in the country and AVDC’s biodiversity officers have co-ordinated the testing and identification of all the genetic variation in the UK population. Samples have been collected from all over the country.