10 December 2013

Tree-mendous effort from young people

Brighton & Hove City Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust are helping a youth group to plant hundreds of trees in a local Brighton park.

Children from the Woodcraft Folk are planting 200 UK native species of tree at Woodingdean’s Central Park on Sunday 15 December. The council’s City Parks team has worked with Huw Morgan Sussex Wildlife Trust’s People and Wildlife officer and the youth group leaders to help find a suitable site and bring the project to life.

More than twenty young people, aged 10 to 12 years old, are heading to the park this Sunday at 11am with their families to help dig the soil and plant the sapling trees. The trees are broadleaved species which will grow into small copses within a decade. The aim is to increase the populations of butterflies and birds by creating an attractive habitat for wildlife. The species to be planted include Rowan, Hawthorn and Hazel.

Cllr Pete West, Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “There are more than 100 parks in the city and each one provides a place for local communities to enjoy open green spaces. This community-led project in Woodingdean is a good example of how the council and local groups can work together to improve our parks. The young people are to be praised for their enthusiasm and forward thinking attitude.”

The project will improve the biodiversity of the park and create a woodland feel to the area. The council worked with the group to suggest planting locations best suited to the fully grown trees and which enable mowing of the park grass without causing damage to the saplings. Bark chips have also been provided for the base of the trees to create a protective area as the plants grow.

Woodcraft Folk group leader Mark Hedgecock said: “Our group meets outside for most sessions and we are committed to looking after the world around us. Our young people are proud to be helping protect the environment and making a difference. These trees will grow as our children do and it will be great for our group to visit the park to help care for the wildlife as years go by.”

The trees have been supplied by the Woodland Trust’s Community Tree Planting Scheme.

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