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A Productive Morning Planting Trees at West Beckham Old Allotments

Whilst John, Andrew and Nigel tackled Ivy on the trees of the southern boundary, the rest of us set off to the north, on a tree planting mission. Felbeck Trust is the grateful recipient of 400 tree whips, from the Trees Outside Woodland Programme – to be planted at several of our sites.



Trevor, Peter, Carol and Bev scythed, raked and cleared an area by the dry hedge bank, whilst Tracy and I uncovered the deeper layers of the hay pile, to provide mulch. Planting then commenced.

 

Birdsong, sunshine and good company, and productive work planting trees: a February antidote to the January blues. Several of us shed our jackets on this surprisingly warm morning, a 2024 first for me.

 

After the doughnut break, it was all hands on deck for planting: hole, whip roots in, backfill, firm, stake, guard, repeat.

 

Fantastic progress was made. Observing that I was the slowest planter, I appointed myself chief mulcher. In the hay pile, we had uncovered creature holes, of two different sizes: I was torn between the hope that I might see a Slow Worm, and the horror of potentially accidently damaging one. I sometimes used my hands rather than the pitchfork, and had several exciting micro moments, when slim brown shapes were revealed, but they were all actually sticks. So whatever is wintering in the hay/mulch remains undisturbed.



The new planting looks great, and Felbeck Trust would like to thank The Trees Outside Woodlands Programme, which is funded by H.M. Government, and delivered by The Tree Council, Natural England, DEFRA, and five local councils including Norfolk County Council.

 

Could you all now do a rain dance?

 

Susan Nicholls

February 1st 2024

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