National campaign takes root in Wellingborough

Volunteers helping clean up Croyland Gardens in Wellingborough
Volunteers helping clean up Croyland Gardens in Wellingborough

Volunteers got their hands dirty as they planted more than 140 new trees to help spruce up their community.

The Friends of Croyland Gardens and the Lost Zoo in Wellingborough organised a community tree planting event last month, with Wellingborough mayor Graham Lawman and his wife Lora Lawman chipping in with the work.

The group was formed in June 2013 in response to a plea on the Wellingborough Now and Then page on Facebook.

Comments saying Croyland Gardens and Swanspool Brook had become overgrown and inaccessible as well as dangerous and anti-social in some areas inspired the group to do something about it.

Since then, they have spent most Saturdays clearing and cleaning up the area.

Their latest venture was the tree planting day, with 30 trees from the Woodland Trust as part of the Community Tree Plant initiative and 112 trees through DEFRA as part of The Big Tree Plant.

John Tucker, director of woodland creation for the Woodland Trust, said: “The UK has just 13 per cent woodland cover compared to a European average of 44 per cent and the trees we do have are under increasing threat from diseases and development.

“By teaming up with communities like the Friends of Croyland Gardens and the Lost Zoo, the Woodland Trust is working to double our native woodland cover and enrich our landscape.

“It’s also great to get the public out planting trees, hopefully providing people with an experience they will remember forever.”

Planting forests for the future

The Big Tree Plant is a national campaign which helps people and communities across England to plant more trees where they live and work.

The target is to plant one million additional trees by April 2015.

Details of the campaign can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/bigtreeplant.

For more information about how community groups can apply for funding, go to www.defra.gov.uk/bigtreeplant/funding.

The campaign has the support of major bodies, environmental charities and agencies, including National Forest Company, Woodland Trust, The Tree Council, Trees for Cities, Keep Britain Tidy, England’s Community Forests, Groundwork, Natural England, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Authority, Mayor of London, Royal Horticultural Society and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.