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5500 tree project – stage 1 nearing completion

At the beginning of November 2012, Havant Borough Tree Wardens were awarded funding of £25,480 to plant 5,583 trees across the Borough, with the planting taking place over the next 3 years.

The borough wide tree-planting project consists of 9 separate projects, five of which are nearing completion this planting season (October 2012 to March 2013) with 815 trees planted. Planting was delayed on several occasions due to bad weather during the autumn and winter including torrential rain, hard frosts and snow.

Staunton Park
The first to kick off during national tree planting week was Staunton Country Park in Leigh Park, where rangers together with a band of 35 helpers worked hard to plant 24 large trees between 29 November 2012 and 11 January 2013. Help came from Havant Day Services, a local special needs school and regular Staunton Country Park volunteers. Trees planted include Lime, English Oak, Copper Beech, Metasequoia, Paulownia and Zelcova. The remaining 52 trees will be planted in autumn 2013.

The second project to get going was at Mill Rythe Infant & Junior School, Hayling Island which is part of the Growing Together project. This is an intergenerational cooperation between Hayling Horticultural Society, Tree Wardens, schools and colleges. The 105 young trees (whips) for this project came from a local tree nursery near Winchester where the trees are grown from seed of local provenance. The whips which included Silver Birch, Oak, Yew, and Rowan were potted up and taken to the school’s tree nursery on 12 December 2012. The aim is to have a tree for each of the children at the school who will learn how to look after the trees with help from members of the Horticultural Society and Tree Wardens. Permanent homes for these trees will be found as and when needed. This intergenerational project will continue over the following two years with the planting of a further 200 trees.

Hermitage Stream
A much larger project also started at about the same time at Hermitage Stream in Leigh Park. Five hundred whips also from the same tree nursery as the whips for Mill Rythe School, were planted between 22 November 2012 and 24 January 2013. Groundwork Solent with a team of 28 volunteers planted a variety of trees including Wild Pear, Rowan, Wild Cherry, Alder Buckthorn, Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Hazel and Oak. The Friends of Hermitage Stream will also be involved in the after care of these trees. In autumn/winter 2013, 2,500 whips will be planted further south and another 1,500 the year after.

The fourth tree planting project to get started this year was the planting of 11 street trees in Waterlooville and on Hayling Island. Three trees (2 Silver Birches and 1 Oak) were planted on 21 February 2013 on a large grass area on Elizabeth Road. The trees were planted by Hampshire County Council Highways approved contractors at the request of a local resident who will be looking after the trees.
Seven paper bark birches were also planted by the same approved contractors at Linnet Close to enhance the environment around a block of flats. This was also at the request of a local resident.
A Stone Pine was planted on 22 February 2013 at Eastoke Corner, Hayling Island. The tree was planted at the request of Hayling Island Tree Wardens in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The remaining 36 street trees will be planted next autumn/winter.

Hayling Billy volunteers
And finally, the fifth project to get off the ground was planting small copses along the Hayling Billy Trail Local Nature Reserve, Hayling Island. In the week beginning Monday 25 February 2013, a Hampshire County Council Countryside ranger will be supervising the planting of 180 whips by volunteers including Tree Wardens. The trees planted include Holly, Hazel, Oak and Blackthorn. A similar number of whips will be planted in autumn/winter 2013-14.

The other 4 tree planting projects which will be carried out in autumn/winter 2013-2014 are: Park Woods, Waterlooville; Brook Meadow Local Nature Reserve, Emsworth; recreation grounds in Emsworth and Bedhampton (Scratchface Lane and Hooks Lane) and Purbrook Infant School.

Want to get involved?
Help with planting and after care is needed especially at Hermitage Stream in Leigh Park, Hayling Billy Trail and at Staunton Country Park. If you would like to get involved and help with the planting and after care of more than 3,000 trees to be planted next autumn, please contact the Havant Borough Tree Warden volunteer coordinator.


View more photos of volunteers and trees in the gallery.

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