Volunteers plant 1,000 trees at natural beauty spot
- Credit: Peter Steward
Countryside enthusiasts of all ages came together to help safeguard a Norfolk haven for wildlife by planting 1,000 trees to mark National Tree Week.
Ten different species including hawthorn, blackthorn, wild rose, field maple, hornbeam, wild privet, green beech, hazel and wild plum were planted over a six-hour period by volunteers at the Beckhithe Meadow County Wildlife Site on fields to the north of Hethersett.
The trees were provided through a Branching Out grant from the Tree Council and will help to protect the habitats when already approved development comes to the area.
Dr Anne Edwards, one of the organisers, said: "This is an incredible place for birds and wildlife, but new development will change the environment and affect the water quality significantly. In this area we have badgers, grass snakes, voles, frogs, toads, newts, rabbits, Roe Deer and many other species. The trees we have planted will go some way to protecting the environment for the wildlife."
Families joined in the planting, including David Kruger and his nine-year-old daughter Sophie, who originate from East London in South Africa, and Roland Wouters, who moved to the area from Eindhoven in Holland. Mr Kruger and Mr Wouters both work at the nearby John Innes Institute.
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The Osborne family from Hethersett were also on hand to help, with mum and dad Amy and Andrew teaching six-year-old daughter Maeve about the environment.
The Hethersett group is one of 100 across the United Kingdom to make a successful application for a grant.
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Sara Lom, chief executive of The Tree Council, said: “People have had a lot to contend with this year and surveys suggest it has impacted their mental and physical wellbeing.
"Planting trees and caring for them afterwards gets people outside into fresh air to reconnect with each other and nature and have some fun getting their hands dirty.”
National Tree Week was launched on Saturday, November 28 and continues until December 6. Beckhithe Meadow is privately owned land belonging to the Lombe Estate.
It has been classified a County Wildlife Site (CWS) containing important, distinctive and threatened habitats and species.