After a challenging two years, Thanet Urban Forest volunteers – formerly the Isle of Thanet Trees and Woods Initiative – are now planning another community tree planting in King George VI Memorial Park in Ramsgate.
After a hugely successful first year in 2020, where the group planted 756 trees under the Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF), Thanet’s biggest ever tree planting initiative paused with the nation due to the Covid restrictions.
Last year also presented difficulties due to restrictions but the group continued to plant 504 further trees with a dedicated core team of volunteers on behalf of the community. The core team, including Broadstairs Tree Warden Karen Mackenzie, just fell short of their second year’s target, leaving 64 trees to be planted. With the assistance of the Forestry Commission,
Thanet Urban Forest was able to defer these final trees to this planting season.
Despite challenging circumstances the initiative has provided a host of ecosystem services including:
- New and interesting landscapes for their residents
- Successfully delivered increased diversity and numbers of tree stock, whilst being mindful of planting the right tree in the right place
- Reduce the flood risk
- Providing shade, shelter and cooling, which is so often lacking in low canopy cover urban areas
- Engaging the local communities
- Provided education in tree care and biodiversity for both children and adults alike
- Introduced pleasant areas for physical and mental wellbeing
- Highlighting the benefits of increasing the urban canopy now and for the future
- Carbon draw down both in absorption and in sequestration
- Increase in wildlife habitats in crown and under canopy
Managing Director of Thanet Urban Forest Peter Hasted, said: “Something unexpected, so soon, was the vast number of insects – spiders, ladybirds, earwigs, etc – that quickly inhabited the hessian and rubber tree ties. “These predatory insects are a good indication to the abundant life living within the tree plantings.
“The significant number of mice and shrews living in long grass, goes to show, nature doesn’t need to wait for the trees to grow.”
King George VI Memorial Park was identified as a potential site for the third round of Forestry Commission funding. However, as Thanet District Council wasn’t able to support the bid last year, Thanet Urban Forest have taken the opportunity to plant the next generation of trees in the park, which will increase the diversity with a range of species which including Ginkgo, Turkish Hazel, Spindle, flowering pear and crab apple with a few different cultivars of hazels.
The planting will take place on Saturday, March 19 at the Dumpton Gap end of the park from 10am until 1pm and people are invited to book so they can plant a tree. Of the 60 trees being planted there are 20 unallocated.
Peter added: “The past two years have been a challenging time for everyone, so it’s really exciting to be able to invite the community back out into an open space to plant more trees.”
Keith Sacre, Thanet Urban Forest Patron and Director of Barcham Trees, said: .I am pleased that the Thanet Urban Forest group is once again planting trees.
“They have already achieved a great deal with many significant trees planted. Yet there is so much more to do and this current planting initiative is to be welcomed and supported.”
To book your tree to plant in the park follow this link, shorturl.at/bcwA6
For further information, log on to https://thaneturbanforest.org
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org