We have been extremely fortunate to meet Farmer Chris – a local farmer dedicated to utilising his land and promotes rewilding and conservation. In a previous post, you will have seen that we previously visited his farm and built a bug hotel next to his wildflower meadow (more about that later). So, when I approached him about whether we could plant some trees as a community project, he was more than happy for us to do this.
We applied to the Woodland Trust and were successful in securing 420 free trees! It was a daunting task to then organise a 2 day planting event, but our amazing home-ed families stepped up to the challenge and we managed to plant what will eventually be a beautiful hedgerow with a variety of large and fruiting trees dotted throughout. The children did such a good job and as you will see, our group mascot, Mr. H. Junior was along for the sessions, keeping an eye on us all and approved of all the wonderful trees! Once we were finished, he event went along and touched every tree and wished it good luck.
We have planted a variety of trees including:
Sessile Oak, Rowan, Hazel, Holly, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Silver Birch, Downy Birch, and Crab Apple.
All of these trees provide their own support, protection and food throughout the seasons to a variety of species including;
A variety birds who nest in the tree trunk and protective foliage (both tree nesting and ground nesting birds) and feed on the berries, fruit and insects all year round.
Mammals such as wood mice, dormice, deer, foxes, hedgehogs, badgers, squirrels, bats, humans etc. will be supported by the food and protection provided from the leaves, flowers, fruits and berries produced throughout the seasons by the variety of trees we have planted.
Hundreds of insects including caterpillars of moths and butterflies, bees and other pollinators depend on the trees for food and shelter throughout the year. Not only is the tree a vital source of food for the insects, but the insects are a vital source of food to birds and other animals too.
In addition to this, the trees support a whole range of different moss, fungi, lichens…the list goes on!
And finally, we have just planted 420 trees that can will be surviving and thriving for potentially hundreds and thousands of years, being the lungs for our planet, sequestering carbon dioxide and providing future generations with wonderful oxygen for a very long time.
We feel like we have really been able to help the animals, the environment and the people as part of this project!
We look forward to visiting the trees later in the summer to see their young leaves and again in a years time to see how they have grown over the year. We will be involved in the on-going maintenance of these trees as a group to give them the best possible chance of success. Once they are large enough we will also remove the plastic protectors which were provided with the trees as we want to prevent further plastic pollution. We hope that with the right care, we may be able to reuse them in future projects to prevent unnecessary waste.
Firstly, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped with planting these trees. Swindon Saplings would also like to say a big thank you to Farmer Chris for the opportunity and for his energy and enthusiasm in protecting our planet. We would also like to say a huge thank you to the Woodland Trust who provided us with the 420 trees and another massive thank you to the Roots & Shoots Programme for giving us the inspiration and drive to take on these types of projects, because we know that if we all do our bit and work together, we can all make a huge difference!
Final checks and approval given by Mr. H. Junior!
P.S. As I mentioned earlier, last year we built a bug hotel at the farm. Today we visited the bug hotel to see if we could find anything living in it yet and were delighted to see a number of little creepy crawlies who had moved into their new home! There was also plenty of bird droppings around would be indicate they’re quite happy with this set up too!