Youngsters from Redhill's St John's Primary School dug into the job of helping Sutton and East Surrey Water mark its milestone 150th anniversary.

Three pupils set to work in planting an anniversary gift of a fruit tree to the school from the company. The Redhill-based company, which has a long-established schools educational support programme, has donated apple, pear, cherry and plum trees to primary and secondary schools within Reigate and Redhill that took up its 150th anniversary offer. The area was chosen to support Reigate and Redhill borough’s 150th anniversary celebrations of being granted municipal borough status.

Jo Hedges, Sutton and East Surrey Water's education coordinator, has taken a number of special assemblies in schools recently, in which she revealed water-related historical and environmental insights.

She said: “Before our company began 150 years ago, during the early reign of Queen Victoria, water was drawn from village pumps. “Today, we take safe drinking water from the tap at home for granted - and we have the everyday convenience of washing machines, dishwashers, bathrooms and indoor toilets.”

Referring to the company's gift to local schools, she added. “One constant over those 150 years of change have been trees growing around us. “Not only will these fruit trees benefit the environment as they grow, bear fruit and help provide nectar for bees, but they also symbolise our company’s long-term supply of quality water, and our ongoing deep-rooted connection with local communities.” St John’s Primary School teaching assistant and Gardening Club leader, Shirley Walker, said: “The trees are an interesting and welcome gift from the water company since not only will our pupils be able to study their growth, but they will learn that all living things rely on water – people, pets, wildlife, plants and trees – and it is a vital resource that we as humans should all use carefully.” Sutton and East Surrey Water supplies water to more than 675,000 people in East Surrey and parts of West Sussex, west Kent and south London.