The whole WWA team recently spent a day participating in the Chelmsford City Council tree planting project with Love Your Chelmsford.
We all arrived at Hylands Park, on a grey, drizzly Friday morning, clad in wellies, waterproofs and other November-suitable outdoor clothing, prepared to plant upward of 800 whips (young trees, less than 2 years old). The promise of hot drinks and chocolate biscuits ensured that no sapling was left unplanted.
As part of the ‘Our Chelmsford Our Plan’ and the ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration Action Plan’, Chelmsford City Council is undertaking a significant drive to repopulate woodland and tree cover throughout the city.
During 2019-20, over 14,500 trees were planted as part of this programme. No mean feat when you take into consideration that they only plant between November and March, with follow on maintenance in May.
We found ourselves planting native British species such as oak, hazel, Scots pine, alder and wild cherry on that gloomy Friday throughout the morning drizzle. When the sun finally broke through the clouds, we had the task of mulching our newly planted whips, protecting them from the inevitable weed growth.
Aside from being a fun (albeit soggy) team building exercise, it was a great opportunity for us to contribute to the ongoing improvements in our local area, and we hope to return next year to carry out aftercare and see how our saplings are doing.
Looking across the field that day at our tiny saplings, it was encouraging to consider the environmental benefits of a future woodland, and to feel a sense of achievement that we, in a small way, were contributing to the future for Hylands Park.