Zest for nature leads to lime tree planting day in Broadstairs

ROOTING FOR NATURE: Terry Oki, Karen McKenzie and Trevor Sharpchoosing trees at Palmstead Nursery, Wye

A tree planting day will take place in Broadstairs next week.

Broadstairs & St Peter’s voluntary tree warden, Karen McKenzie, has been working with councillors to arrange the event which coincides with National Tree Week (November 23-December 1).

The tree planting in Broadstairs will be on Mockett Drive on November 29.

Residents were consulted and are in favour of the scheme. Six people have signed up to become Tree Champions, who will look out for their trees, by ensuring they are watered regularly during the hot summer and to check they are generally settling in after planting. Trees go into shock after being transplanted and need care.

Kent County Councillor Rosalind Binks approached Councillor Ash Ashbee at Thanet District Council to ensure the land was suitable. Karen then contacted Jasmin Vickers in Environmental Services and Emma Penny, Open Spaces manager, to get the project going. Karen has been supported by Councillor Mike Garner, landscape architect Trevor Sharp and David Carey from Kent Tree and Pond Partnership.

Funding was secured from public contributions to a Just Giving page together with donations from the Broadstairs Society, Broadstairs Town Council, local companies and philanthropists. Some £1,580 was raised in just four weeks for the project.

Emma Penny is keen to test out a new innovative method of anchoring the trees where they are secured underground, eliminating the need for staking and ties. This is better for the trees because they learn to deal with bending in wind much quicker and develop stronger roots – as nature intended.

The method is initially more expensive, but cheaper in the long run because the trees do not need to be monitored as closely as they grow for chafing against stakes and ties, which can damage them. The method is better for the bigger trees being planted on Mockett Drive. There is also a theory that it reduces vandalism because it makes it look as if the trees have been there a long time and the council is keen to test this.

Open Spaces funds will pay the new method of anchoring.

Eight large lime trees will arrive and be settled into their new home with the help of the TDC Open Spaces team, Kent Countryside Trust and other volunteers.

Karen said: “A society grows great when people old and young, of every political and religious opinion, come together to plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. But our children’s children will be able to sit in the shade of these lovely scented lime trees.”

Thanet has a low tree cover which, according to a 2014 survey, stood at only 4.4%– putting it on a par with the City of London, the 7th lowest in the country.


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