Staff from Ratcliffe College were delighted to welcome Mr Robin Fletcher CEO of the Boarding Schools’ Association onsite this week to plant a very special apple tree as part of the BSA Boarding Orchard Initiative.
Launched in 2014, the scheme involves boarding schools from across the country planting fruit trees in their grounds with an aim to creating the largest orchard, by distance, in the UK. The trees symbolise the ‘tree of knowledge’ and demonstrate each school’s commitment to growth and caring for the environment. In 2020, the Boarding Orchard was officially supported by HRH Prince Charles who called it ‘an excellent way to promote environmental awareness’.
Mr Fletcher said: “I am absolutely delighted to come here today to Ratcliffe College and to welcome the College into the BSA Boarding Orchard scheme.
“A tree can represent a million different things, from a tree of knowledge to helping the environment – which of course is what we want to do at the moment.”.
Ratcliffe College has joined another 150 schools by planting a very special tree, the Barnack Orange, selected by Mr Chris Moody, Head of Grounds. This tree was cultivated in 1904 by W.H. Divers, Head Gardener at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, it’s a native tree from our county and the fruits are edible, similar to Cox’s variety. It was recommended to Chris by the Leicestershire Heritage Apple Project who have been very helpful.
The timing for this special event couldn’t be better as we head towards the eighth BSA National Boarding Week which takes place from June 20-26, 2022.
Our Boarding Community will no doubt be taking part in a range of exciting activities and celebrating the coming together of boarders from many different parts of the world with many varied backgrounds and cultures.
Headmaster Mr Jon Reddin commented: “Here at Ratcliffe, Boarding is part of our history and heritage, and we are very proud of our close-knit community and excellent location which means that boarders get an unforgettable experience here, making friends for life and building skills for life too. We are extremely happy to be joined by Mr Fletcher and to contribute to this significant effort.”
To find out more about boarding at Ratcliffe you can book on to our forthcoming Open Morning in September 2022, or if you’d prefer, contact our admissions team to request a private tour (subject to timings and staff availability as we head towards the summer holidays).
Image: L-R Mr Jon Reddin, Headmaster, Mr Chris Moody, Head of Grounds, Mrs Sophie Noctor, Boarding Recruitment Manager, Mr Robin Fletcher, BSA CEO