Deaf pupils plant trees and share their environment hopes as part of tribute to the Queen
A group of deaf pupils have planted trees and shared their hopes for the future of the planet as part of a project in memory of the late Queen.
Youngsters from Windsor Park School in Falkirk took part in the Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative, and recorded messages on what they’d like the world to be like in 70 years. The event at the Falkirk Wheel was organised by Forth Valley Sensory Centre, which supports thousands of people with sight and hearing impairments across central Scotland, in conjunction with Scottish Canals.
The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative was originally created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. It has continued despite Her Majesty’s passing in September, with millions of trees already planted across the UK. The project has been extended to March next year to build on the Queen’s legacy and will act as a lasting tribute to her service to the country.
At the Falkirk Wheel – which was formally opened by the Queen 20 years ago – the children planted 30 trees and a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Colonel Alastair Campbell DL, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Stirling and Falkirk. The plaque is translated into Braille and includes a QR code people can scan to link to a video where the pupils describe their hopes for the future of the planet and climate change, using British Sign Language (BSL). Their messages are also audio-described, making them accessible to all.
Forth Valley Sensory Centre has been working to make information about climate change more accessible through its Making Sense of Climate Change project. The Centre previously worked with Windsor Park pupils to produce a colourful Climate Comic which used BSL and audio description to increase inclusion.
The children were asked what they would like their world to be like in 70 years. Their messages include:
Dillon Baillie, 9
“In 70 years when I wake up and open my curtains, I want to see children having fun, beautiful sun, beautiful rain and a beautiful rainbow, and some grass, some flowers, some animals being free and lots of people cycling and lots of people scooting.”
Noah Zaborski, 6
“Rainbows, sun, a cloudy sunny mix, winter, snow, autumn, summer.”
Erin Murphy, 5
“Beautiful skies and the sun.”
Nessa McLaughlin, 8
“When I wake up and open my curtains, I want to see llamas, penguins, zebras, owls.”
Hadiya Shakir, 7
“When I wake up in the future, I want to see the sun, rain, clouds and rainbows and flowers.”
Jacquie Winning MBE, chief executive of Forth Valley Sensory Centre
“We are proud to have helped organise this hugely important tree planting event at the Falkirk Wheel in conjunction with Scottish Canals. Pupils from Windsor Park School have planted new trees at one of central Scotland’s top visitor attractions and were able to share their hopes for the future of our planet in way that is accessible to all. The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative will help improvement the environment, while also acting as a fitting tribute to Her Majesty. We are delighted that Colonel Alastair Campbell DL, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Stirling and Falkirk, was able to attend to unveil our commemorative plaque. Forth Valley Sensory Centre’s Making Sense of Climate Change project was designed to make information about climate change more accessible and we’re pleased to be continuing with this work. We also offer energy saving advice for our centre users.”
Ross McMillan, Scottish Canals Head of Destinations
“We were delighted to be able to support the pupils from Windsor Park School once again. Our environmental team have been working closely with the children and staff to co-ordinate this project and make sure the trees have the best place to grow. The trees will provide a lasting legacy to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and now thanks to the children will have a place in history at the site of the Falkirk Wheel.”