Campus tree planting to celebrate Kent and Medway Medical School

Sam Wood
Picture by James Richard Photography
L-R: Nasr Khiri; Prof Chris Holland; Prof Karen Cox; Prof Alun Griffiths

The recently established Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) has been celebrated with the recent planting of 50 trees on Kent’s Canterbury campus and outside the Verena Holmes Building on Canterbury Christ Church University campus.

The Canterbury Christ Church University planting took place on 9 December and the Kent campus planting took place on 29 November.

The trees were donated by The Kent Men of the Trees and include Sorbus, Hazel, Oak, Beech, Maple, Poplar, Horse Chestnut and Lime species.

The hosts across both plantings included: Professor Chris Holland, Founding Dean of the Kent and Medway Medical School; Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University; Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Kent; Professor Alun Griffiths, Chairman of The Kent Men of the Trees; and The Kent Men of the Trees Trustees’ George Kirby and Paul Smallwood. The ceremony was attended by KMMS students.

KMMS is a collaboration between the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. It welcomed its first students in September 2020 and is the only medical school in the county.

The donation of 50 trees is also in recognition of both universities’ dedication to The Queen’s Green Canopy planting initiative as part of the Platinum Jubilee. The trees will also be registered with the Billion Trees Project.

Professor Holland said: ‘The planting of these trees, a generous gift from The Kent Men of the Trees, not only provides a superb green resource for everyone to enjoy but also an opportunity to commemorate the founding of the Kent and Medway Medical School. The KMMS programme provides students with opportunities to learn about sustainability in healthcare and how environmental changes can impact on human health in a multitude of different ways. These trees are a potent symbol of our commitment to these twin goals.

‘We are delighted to take part in The Queen’s Green Canopy tree planting initiative to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.  We have planted these to create a tree network in honour of the Queen’s service and the legacy she has built. These trees will create a green legacy of their own, bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future.’

Paul Smallwood and George Kirby, Trustees from Kent Men of the Trees, discussed the importance of tree planting at both Universities.

Paul Smallwood said: ‘It is absolutely vital to the next generation.’

George Kirby added: ‘I see this as the start of a relationship with the Kent Men of the Trees and the Universities.

‘We heard about the potential expansion of the contribution and were very happy to support that. We’re working with Kent County Council on Plan Tree, with planting a tree for every resident of Kent so the more trees we can be facilities to be planted, which is better for the environment, better for the world, and better for the local community.’

Nasr Khiri, KMMS President of MedSoc society said ‘It’s a fantastic initiative. The trees will be on both campuses for 50 years; that’s many generations of students who will come to university – and I’m one of the first KMMS cohorts so to be part of this is amazing.’

L-R: Prof Rama Thirunamachandran; Nasr Khiri; Prof Chris Holland; Paul Smallwood; George Kirby