Liz Ramsay, a Tree Warden in Nutfield, Surrey, tells us how she and her follow Tree Wardens found ways to navigate the challenges of a pandemic year to achieve her goal of creating a new community woodland.
When Liz Ramsay, a Tree Warden in Nutfield, Surrey, hatched a plan to establish a new community woodland, she couldn’t have imagined the many challenges the pandemic would present for tree planting. But she didn’t let that stop her! Inspired by her involvement in planting the existing Millennium Wood, which lies on the other side of the railway, Liz had sought the agreement of Nutfield Parish Council who own the land, to plant almost 1,000 trees in a new community woodland.
A challenging year
Around 550 trees for the new Jubilee Wood in South Nutfield had been ordered before the first lockdown a year ago. Nutfield Tree Wardens had intended to run a community tree planting event, but safety regulations meant that only two people could be on site at any one time. Refusing to be deterred, Liz and the Tree Wardens set out to make a new plan.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
The area to be planted was marked out into plots of 10 square metres. Trees and tree guards were sorted into bags, one for each plot, and a local farmer helped with transportation. On the day, a carefully-planned rota of volunteers came in two by two, with Tree Wardens on hand to provide advice and guidance. 450 trees were planted over two days, and on the following days, the little trees had mulch spread around them for weed control. The new wood was underway.
The Nutfield commemorative Elm goes pride of place
The Nutfield Tree Wardens were delighted to be awarded one of the disease resistant elms that The Tree Council gifted to commemorate 30 years of the Tree Warden scheme and their Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ was the first tree to be planted in the new Jubilee Wood. It has been planted close to the entrance as a welcome point, and to ensure that it can be easily watered. It was an exciting moment to plant an elm in the knowledge that it will grow to maturity in a landscape where once it was so common.
A hopeful new beginning
The Tree Wardens plan to plant almost 1,000 trees in this new community woodland, so there will be a second planting in autumn 2021 and all being well, everyone will be invited to plant trees and celebrate this new woodland.
Team Tree Council is continually inspired by the dedication, creativity and passion of Tree Wardens, and we want to thank Nutfield Tree Wardens for making this fantastic project happen in a safe manner in spite of the challenges.