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Tree planting scheme -South Ward

February 10, 2019 10:58 PM
By Brian Clark
South ward councillors complete tree planting scheme at Mangravet Recreation Field with Oaks Academy School Tree Planting
Maidstone Bough Councillors Brian Clark, Derek Mortimer and Paul Wilby have worked with the Maidstone Borough Council Parks team and a charity in Kent to deliver a large tree planting scheme at Mangravet Playing Field to further enhance the site, valued locally as an important "Green Wedge" and wildlife corridor. Cllr Clark had initiated the scheme after contacting Alun Griffiths, chairman of the charity "Kent Men of the Trees", which provides trees for the community, asking for help in providing several large native Oak, Hornbeam and Rowan "feature" trees. The request was rewarded with a contribution of twelve double standard sized trees (four of each species).
Cllr Clark commented, "We were delighted to receive such good quality feature trees for our community project. Following this, my fellow ward councillors and I agreed to make a contribution to the parks team from our devolved budget, for the planting of these trees along with the rotavation of an area, at the southern end of the park, for a new thicket of several hundred further trees. He continued, "Cllrs Mortimer and Wilby and I were joined by the children at the Oaks Academy school, who helped us plant up this thicket area with hundreds of mixed native whips. The children were very enthusiastic and hard working, each planting and staking four or five trees each".
Cllr Clark had given short talk to the children to explain the importance of the field for wildlife in an area which includes two designated ancient woodlands, and the benefits of planting native trees. Cllr Paul Wilby, who had separately secured several hundred mixed native tree whips from Ovo energy for the planting, commented, "We all serve as trustees at the Hayle Park Nature reserve and each have a keen interest in protecting and enhancing our open spaces. it was rewarding for us to see just how much the children enjoyed working on this project"