Between November 16-27th Andover Trees United held their 9th annual Tree Planting Fortnight in Harmony Woods; two weeks of tree planting that has been established in the Andover school calendar since 2012.
During the fortnight, 21 British native ‘standard-sized’ (about 10ft tall) trees and 250 small hedgerow trees were planted by 10 school groups plus volunteers from the community. Three schools brought along and planted around 20 trees they had nurtured in their school nursery beds since last year.
Andover Trees United were able to buy 26 standard-sized trees thanks to a grant from The Tree Council. These trees have been planted to create a British native tree walk, or arboretum.
On Saturday, December 5th, in National Tree Week, a Whitebeam will be added to the arboretum in dedication to the whole community, and will be planted by the ATU youth team, supported by the Mayor, Cllr Hatley. The remaining 4 school trees will be planted by families and friends on behalf of their schools on this day, too – completing the planting of the arboretum.
Some schools have dedicated their arboretum tree to someone special – and the arboretum itself is dedicated to all the lives affected by the 2020 pandemic.
The planting of the community Whitebeam on the 5th symbolises a time to reflect on the year, the generosity and kindnesses of community, and the lives lost and lives changed over the past year. said ATU founder, Wendy Davis.
Ten schools made their way to Harmony Woods over the planting fortnight. Another 16 schools will join the ATU team in the new year to help add more whips (young trees) to the hedge (supplied by The Woodland Trust) and to hang their own special labels on their arboretum trees, taking the total number of trees planted up to the yearly total of 1000.
In spring 2021, the arboretum will grow even further with the creation of a wildflower meadow and chalk scrape (scraping back the top layer of soil to reveal the bare chalk earth beneath, encouraging a diversity of chalk-loving plants). Chalk wildflowers will be sowed in the centre of the looped walk, and the pond will be extended.
Now that the new arboretum is taking shape we can’t wait to see how it will look in spring! We hope the local community will keep coming up to enjoy and look after it, too. A huge THANK YOU goes out to all the lovely volunteers who planted the special trees for the schools that couldn’t join us over the two weeks and whose hard work has ensured that the fortnight was a great success.
We still have around 750 trees to get in the ground, including several hundred meters of a new hedgerow. We have school groups booked in to plant trees in the woods early next year, and we are always looking for volunteers to lend a hand. said Wendy Davis, Andover Trees United.
If you’re interested in helping out, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org . No prior experience of tree planting is needed, all will be explained and participation is FREE.