Volunteers brave high winds to turn out to Dane Valley Green big tree planting day

DIGGING IN: Poppy,10, and Jacob Findley, three, were among those keen to get involved in the Dane Valley tree plant

Report by Jamie Horton, Photos by Jamie Horton and Carl Hudson

Despite high winds and cold weather conditions, more than 200 Thanet volunteers turned out to Dane Valley Green this morning (February 22) to help plant 200 trees. The planting area stretched from the one end of Dane Valley Road up to the Sure Start Children’s Centre.

People arrived from 8am and the steady stream of helpers continued to grow, wrapped up, some sporting woolly hats and gloves, young and old, filling the air with a sense of purpose, determination and good  community spirit.

Photo Jamie Horton

Sure Start Children’s centre was used as a holding facility for the trees to be stored prior to planting. A local  farmer and his tractor and trailer mucked in, transporting trees to the site of planting.

The ground had been carefully marked out showing each individual dig site and type of tree to be planted.  Cllr Paul Moore, Mayor of Broadstairs, was in attendance  to show his  support for the project, as were some of his colleagues from Margate Fire Station, who arrived by fire engine.

Photo Carl Hudson

Youngster Darren Colby, Linda Smith, David Smith, Charlene Smith and Darren James – representing East Kent Hospitals – also planted a tree.

One of the group said: “We wanted to help the local wildlife, put more trees back into Thanet and bring more colour and variety to the area.”

The plan is to create Thanet’s first Arboretum which, once established, will bring enjoyment for everyone.

A representative of Riverside housing association was also in attendance, expressing the pleasure they had in giving the project their full support.

The scheme’s main independent sponsor, RiverOak Strategic Partners, was also represented at the event by Tony Freudmann. North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale was also present.

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A spokesperson for organisers The Isle of Thanet Trees and woods Initiative said: “This is the  biggest tree planting day of the whole ITTWI project.”

The ITTWI project is part of the  Isle of Thanet Trees and Woods Initiative (ITTWI)  which successfully secured £525,000 from the Urban Tree Challenge to plant 1,200 trees across George Park; Dane Park; The Sunken Gardens Westbrook;and  Dane Valley Green.

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The Urban Tree Challenge Fund was set up in response to the Government’s 25 year Environmental Plan as a means of re-greening some the UK’s districts with low tree canopy coverage.

The project is headed up by Luke Evans, Colourful Margate lead Stephanie Nsom; Peter Hasted of the Sunken Garden Revival project; and Thanet councillor Ash Ashbee.

Event at Dane Valley Woods

Tomorrow (February 23) a tree planting will be held at Dane Valley Woods from 10am to 1pm. One hundred native tree saplings that have been  donated free of charge by the Woodland Trust will be planted by volunteers. These consist of 25 each of wild cherry, rowan, silver birch and field maple and are all species that have already developed well in the woods.
Meet at 10am at the Dane Valley Woods HQ in Dane Valley allotments (at the end of St Peters Footpath), or find the volunteers in the woods – they are easy to spot in our hi-viz yellow jackets!

The Dane Valley Woods group meet every last Sunday of the month.


    • What are these “rogue businesses” to which you refer, and do you have any evidence?
      Do you have plenty of money to defend yourself against a libel case?

  1. Well done to you all, why can’t we plant more trees ? instead of building all these houses, which encourages more people to live in Thanet.

    • There is a shortage of places for people to live. People live in houses, not trees. Therefore, there is a need for houses to be built.
      Which doesn’t say that trees shouldn’t be planted, too. Maybe, for each house built, the developers should have to plant a tree in the same locality?

  2. Great to see Sir Gale turn up to plant trees, it’s just so hypocritical as he doesn’t see saving peoples’ lives quite as important, which is always very worrying. He supports the loss of our stroke unit at the QEQM. MP’s eh? Always seem to get their priorities skewed. I wonder why?

  3. A great initiative all round.Though, like the last contributor, I wonder why local MPs are happy to see money spent on long-term health protection ie trees, but vote to reduce funding for the NHS which protects our health right now!

  4. I wouldn’t hold iut any high hope’s for any project the struck off solicitor and embezzler Tony Freudmann is involved with.
    He was a director of the firm running Manston Airport when it experienced one of its many failures. In his time, Mr Freudmann has overseen many projects that have crumbled to dust under his expert guidance.

    • I hate predictive text/auto spell…
      “I wouldn’t hold out any high hopes for any …”
      is what I meant to say.

  5. Fancy seeing them there! Freudmann and Gale, in their unexpected new role of two high-profile local environmentalists, representing a firm which wants a 24/7 cargo hub just outside a town of 40,000 people.

    • Yes, any excuse for an advertisement photo shoot. They had their flags flying high. Best buddies together in this and the Dane Park tree planting. They are so cock sure of themselves but all this tree planting is not going to go anywhere environmentally once the pair get their filthy freight planes flying in and out of Thanet. So hypercritical of them.

      • RSP flags! How disgusting! But Manston is not a suitable place for a freight hub so RSP aren’t likely to get permission for one.

  6. RSP had the cheek to include this scheme – which seeks to address Thanet’s *current* position as having one of the lowest tree canopies in the country – in their response to Secretary of State’s questions about the catastrophic environmental and climate change impact of their proposed air cargo hub.

    Trying to claim this community-driven scheme as having any kind of meaning or contribution towards RSP’s carbon off-setting or green credentials – which, by the way, would require the planting of MILLIONS of trees – is one of the many reasons why Thanet Trees should have refused funding from this major polluter and contributor to climate change.

    RSP referenced this in their latest DCO submission as a “£1m tree planting initiative”, and somehow neglected to mention that their contribution is just 10% of that with the remaining 90% coming from public money and volunteer time. Why should the public pay twice for the damage they are doing to us and the environment? Thanet Trees is being used by RSP – pure and simple – and the “Member for Riveroak”, Roger Gale, is there again helping set us all up.

    Also, I would be very interested to know if RSP has actually paid up yet. If not – and if I were in Luke Evans’ shoes – I’d be looking very carefully at Freudmann’s track record for paying his partners and getting very worried.

  7. Why didn’t they plant a line of trees along the side of the green along Dane Valley Road? There used to be a row years ago. That could have served two issues. One of those being, keeping the repeated incursions of travellers of the green. They are a nuisance to everyone and will probably just drive over these trees which are mysteriously planted so far back onto the green. This could have negated the mound or hollow others have talked about down the side of the road. It was an opportunity wasted.

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