Green Plan Update: January 2022

WATLINGTON’S HEDGEROW PROJECT

What a morning it was on the 11 December! About 25 volunteers bearing spades gathered in West Meadow to plant young trees and shrubs. In the space of about 3 hours over 200 metres of hedge was planted and everyone had thoroughly enjoyed taking part.


The Watlington Green Plan group, including WEG and WCAG, is seeking to improve the local hedgerow network in the parish through restoration, better management and planting. Following the coppicing of some of the West Meadow hedges in November, the gaps have now been filled in with new hedge plants. A new hedgerow has also been planted in an adjacent field to link to another neglected hedge, aiming to recreate the patchwork network of small fields. In order to provide a rich habitat for the future, a mixture of native species was planted, including hawthorn, hazel, spindle, buckthorn, dog rose and wild plum.


The project was possible thanks to funding from CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) and because of the support and advice of local hedge expert Nigel Adams and Wild Oxfordshire’s Community Ecologist Roselle Chapman. Thanks also to the fantastic team of volunteers, to Jackie Gaff for organising us all and to the Orange Bakery for the delicious soup and bread. There will be another hedge planting event on the 8 January, meeting in West Meadow at 9.30am. If anyone else would like to join us, please let us know - fionadanks@gmail.com.

(Photos taken by Fiona Danks)


TREE FOSTER SCHEME

The Green Plan’s emerging Tree Foster Scheme is taking shape. We are delighted that Steve Travis has volunteered to coordinate it. The aim is to care for young trees that sometimes appear in gardens where they are not necessarily wanted, and to later plant them in the parish to create new woodland areas. A few hazel plants and a hawthorn have already been donated and are now part of the hedge in West Meadow. This is how we see the scheme working:


Tree donors

  • We are interested in native tree seedlings, such as hazel, oak, ash, beech, hawthorn and field maple. We will come up with a definitive list of suitable species.

  • Wild tree seedlings or small saplings should be dug up carefully without damaging the roots and planted in a pot of soil or peat-free compost.

  • Some donors may also like to be a “foster carer”, looking after tree seedlings until they are needed, but others may not have space so can be matched with another tree foster carer.


Tree fostering volunteers

  • We are looking for volunteers to tend tree seedlings and small saplings for a year or two until they are large enough to plant and a suitable site has been identified.

  • Young trees should be kept in a sheltered spot with plenty of light and watered when necessary.

  • There will be opportunities for volunteers to plant the trees.

  • There will also be a chance to be involved in the ongoing care of the trees (weeding and watering) until they are established.


Thank you to everyone who has already expressed interest. For further information about getting involved, please drop an email to Steve Travis at stevetravisuk1@gmail.com with your contact details. We will be setting up a What’sApp group to keep in touch.


December 2021

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