The Big Tree Plant – Community Orchard or Street Trees, anyone?

The Big Tree Plant is now has funding attached. It’s time to find some open areas (interstitial spaces?) to plant up. The DeFRA site is: http://thebigtreeplant.direct.gov.uk which has info on grants from three sources: The Tree Council, The Woodland Trust and, from April 2011, The Big Tree Plant itself, which has £4.2m for England.

Do you think we could get a project going under the TTF / FLF / ALFI banner(s)? Where would you like more trees and of what sort? We have our ‘nutter’ friends at Transition Town Totnes leading the way with their own nut-tree scheme but could we do things even better?

Ideas & comments, please.

David

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4 Responses to The Big Tree Plant – Community Orchard or Street Trees, anyone?

  1. Gayle says:

    This is great news. Weydon School have recently planted heritage varieties of apple trees as part of the learning through landscapes scheme. It’s a good scheme for schools but of limited value to the wider commmunity. There are probably loads of apples around Farnham so to boost bio-diversity and add amenity value to the town I suggest we back the council to provide 1 free tree to every home owner, as we did in Wellington years ago. Suggested varieties wouldn’t necessarliy be native. We need to think in terms of climate change and the fact that additional varieties of evergreen and flowering trees now grow here and will benefit local wildlife- e.g Sophora microphylla (an NZ native “Kowhai” , a small tree to 3m with brilliant yellow nectar-filled flowers in summer) .
    A TTF project to clean up the riverbank, remove brambles to make the river ‘accessible’ to people and clean up the river itself would set the scene for a tree planting event the following weekend. The Environment Agency is concerned that people have lost their connections with rivers and so do not understand rainfall and flow patterns, habitats and amentity values. Farnham sits on the floodplain of the river but has scant connection with it. Other than the Maltings occasional outdoor table there are no cafes on the river, and few seats.
    In addition to Council gifting a free tree per household, I would want TTF to apply for 100 trees for public amentity planting. I would suggest planting such amenity trees in conjunction with local Rotary, Lions, Scouts and Guides as a wonderful coming-together of the community. If we planted along the river we would create a beautiful, shady link from one end of town to the other, create a tourist buzz about the town (people will come to look at a thing of beauty and stay to spend time and money in the local economy), and provide real benefits both to the residents and the local wildlife.

  2. finnjackson says:

    Ho, ho — ‘nutter’ friends… 🙂

    This looks like a really good idea.
    Nut trees can provide as much protein and carbohydrate per acre as organic wheat.

    Our links with Waverley BC could help to make it happen. I expect we could get the Mayor or local MP involved, which could make a good ‘photo-opportunity’ for the press.
    Happy to help as I can, if someone else will lead.

    • Gayle says:

      I led the NZ Tree Programme regionally for 4 years. Using that experience I would be happy to coordinate here, but cannot offer unpaid time. If someone knows of a funding route, please let me know as this is a project that’s dear to my heart.

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