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Mini forest planted in Hitchin thanks to Rotary

17 January 2023
Trees being planted at Swinburne Rec
Photos from the event by Simon Maddison

2,000 trees were planted at Swinburne Recreational Ground by around 75 volunteers at the weekend (Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January), thanks to the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse.  

Planned for over a year, the club wanted to create a mini forest in the town – a bit bigger than the size of a tennis court – which local people got involved with planting, to help raise environmental awareness and leave a lasting amenity. The small whip sized trees were planted by making a slit in the ground and adding a supporting cane tied to a biodegradable tree guard.

A family planting trees - with child standing on spade
Photo by Simon Maddison

The dense fast-growing native woodland requires low management and maintenance after the first two years and no chemicals or fertilisers will be used. The rich biodiversity can attract a wider range of animal and plant species within its first three years. Restoring and improving biodiversity is our strongest natural defence against climate change.

Tim Ray, former Rotary President, said: “It was a fabulous weekend and great to get it all done so quickly thanks to so many lovely and interesting people getting stuck in. And thanks to the council for their support and collaboration. Thankfully we didn't actually get too wet, just muddy!”

Sarah Kingsley, Place Director, added: “A massive thank you to the Rotary and all the volunteers, the mini forest looks great. The trees will store more and more carbon as they grow, and with the increased biodiversity, the area is another win for our fight against climate change.”    

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