Tarporley Rotary plants trees at Tarporley CE Primary School to help the environment.

John Gilbody (the school caretaker) David Lilley, Robin Moore and Peter Connor from the Rotary Club of Tarporley

During the days between our national Covid lockdowns, Tarporley Rotarian Peter Connor was wondering what he could do for the Rotary’s Youth and Environment Team.


So, he called Tarporley Primary School to find out if there was anything we could do to help out with at this time. The Bursar, Jane Taylor, put him in touch with John Gilbody, the Caretaker, and they got talking about potential projects.  


After a meeting on site and a tour of the grounds, John, a very keen environmentalist, and an avid tree planter in his spare time, told Peter exactly what he thought would really benefit the school and its pupils. Trees: for shade, for screening, for soaking up ground water and in particular pear trees for the school garden. 


Peter took the idea back to the Rotary team and he planted the seed…..(sorry!)


If you’ve lived in the area for a while, you’ll know that the name, “Tarporley” derives from the Old English “Toepelei”, meaning a pear wood near a hill, which is why the pear tree is the school’s emblem. 


Therefore, it seemed really appropriate that The Rotary Club of Tarporley should finance the purchase of 4 pear trees, stakes, ties, compost, and lend a hand to help John to prepare the ground. The Rotary team also helped to plant the trees whilst the school was closed over the Christmas break.


Following help and excellent advice from F Morrey’s & Son at Kelsall, four different varieties of pear trees were selected, including of course Williams Bon Cretien (translated from the French: “Williams Good Christian”), which seemed exactly right for Tarporley Church of England Primary School. 


On the last Saturday before Christmas, they were planted. Now everyone at the school and in Rotary are eagerly awaiting Spring and the first blossoms. Maybe, by next Christmas there may even be a partridge or two!!


Meanwhile John Gilbody has some more good news coming on the tree planting front. Watch this space and the Tarporley Facebook page for regular updates.