Atlas Packaging is proud to be one of the largest and best equipped independent corrugated packaging firms in the UK. The environment is at the heart of everything that we do as we create sustainable and recyclable cardboard boxes and packaging. Although we hold FSC accreditation which shows that we get our base paper from sustainable sources where trees are replanted , we wanted to do more. So today we're proud to announce that we're launching the 'Our School Orchard' project as Atlas Managing Director Jason Sharman explains:

"Our core values as a company are very important to us in Teamwork, Leadership, Innovation and Excellence and so it felt the right thing to do to create our own tree planting scheme. But when we partnered with Devon charity Orchards Live it became clear that both organisations wanted it to be more than just trees and so we focused on education. The result is 'Our School Orchard' and now we're helping children to learn about the seasonality of food and where it comes from as well as planting traditional local apples trees."

The logos of all involved in the Our School Orchard project

'Our School Orchard' is a collaboration between Orchards Live and Atlas Packaging

Children being taught about the trees

The children learn about how to best look after their new trees

The first primary schools from North Devon have taken part in the project today (Monday 18) where students and teachers received training in how best to plant a young apple tree and how to make it grow and ultimately produce fruit. Each school have taken three trees away with them and the pupils will return to school and 'teach' their fellow students the information they've learnt. It's up to the schools how they then take the project forward but as Jeff Adams from Orchards Live says, the hope is that they will be able to allocate time each season to learning more about the trees and enjoy looking after them:

"This project is ultimately about children having fun outside and learning with nature. It's not necessarily focused on fitting in to the National Curriculum, it's about having that experience of planting a tree, looking after it, watching it grow as they themselves grow during their time at school and hopefully taking that interest in the environment around them on for the rest of their lives."

  Children listen while getting their trees

The schools will receive 3 trees to plant creating their own orchard

The varieties handed over are Grandpa Ailes, Tidicombe Seedling and Cornish Aromatic. The schools taking part are from the Tarka Learning Partnership Multi-Academy Trust as well as the TEAM Multi-Academy Trust. 

Orchards Live was established in 1991 as a campaign group called ‘Save Our Orchards’ by a group of enthusiasts who wanted to try to halt the decline in orchards particularly in North Devon. In 2001 it changed its name to Orchards Live and is part of the Dartington North Devon Charitable Trust.  The organisation not only helps with the replanting of trees but offers advice and training as well as finding markets for the orchard produce. 

Barnstaple based corrugated cardboard box manufacturer Atlas Packaging not only produces products from sustainable paper of which up to 88% is recycled fibres but it puts the environment at the heart of production. All leftover board from the manufacturing process is collected and recycled, the factory is powered by Solar Panels on its roof and the ink used is water based and contains no animal products.