Planting Hope, Building Futures: 200 Trees Begin Their Journey
Tree planting has gotten off to a good start in 2024. We had a visit from members of Elm Tree Farm, which is part of the Brandon Trust, which provides support and training to adults with learning disabilities. We have also been planting with The Churn Project, which aims to reduce isolation and improve wellbeing for those who are lonely, at a point of crisis or experiencing mental health issues. We have also been planting with Gannicox CIC and Changes Bristol.
Most of the participants had never been to Westonbirt before, and many had never planted a tree. Following a planting demonstration, everyone got stuck in, and we managed to get the first 200 saplings in the ground. These included field maple, small-leaved lime, pedunculate oak and hawthorn. Just 2800 to go!
One of the staff from Elm Tree Farm said “Our members don’t usually get the opportunity to visit other sites and do activities like this”. Another staff member said “It's been great to see the teamwork. It's hard to do things like this and take staff away but we'd love to do more. We've even seen some unexpected skills.”.
As part of the project, we are trialling different types of biodegradable tree tubes. So far, we have used Tubex Nature, made from sugarcane, corn & starch (pink), Tree Huggers, made from organic cotton and pine resin (beige), Terra bio shelters which are made from plant resin and recycled wood residue (almost clear) and we are also trialling tubes made from cardboard (green). We will be keeping an eye on which guards can stand up against the weather, as well as which ones provide the best microclimate for growth of our small trees.
All participants were given a record of what type of trees they planted, along with a What3Words location so they can find their trees and watch them grow.
You can support the work of The National Arboretum by making a donation today so that Westonbirt continues to be a safe, accessible, green space for everyone for generations to come.