Roots for the Future, planting trees thanks to #GreenerwithGreggs

Project Category: Community Interest CompanyProject Tags: Biodiversity, Children & young people, Education and Gardens

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    Roots for the Future’s mission is to engage communities in tree planting to cultivate a lasting legacy of environmental sustainability.

    We envisage a future where communities are inspired to implement natural solutions to climate change.

    We believe community activities, like Roots for the Future’s are at the root of curbing the global issue of climate change.

    We bring people together to plant trees in their communities, encourage them to preserve and protect those trees, and to enjoy their benefits. We invite all ages to participate, and envisage that our involvement of children and young people will help to inspire the next generation to address climate change with environmental solutions.

    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now!

    Thanks to the grant we have received from the Greggs Foundation, we are in the planning stages of three tree planting workshops during spring and autumn of 2018. We plan to plant at least 150 trees with up to 135 people. The two hour workshops are led by a qualified Outdoor Learning Leader and a Roots for the Future staff member. Groups, consisting of children and their parents, guardians or teachers, take part in an interactive exercise to learn about trees and their ecological importance, then shown how to plant and care for trees. Each participant has the opportunity to get their hands dirty digging in the dirt and planting saplings.

    UPDATE: we have completed all three planting projects.

    We held two wonderful planting events at Ladywell spiritual retreat, one in March and the other in May. We invited Year 5 from St Edmunds to plant a hedgerow at Ladywell’s request. Criss-crossing the countryside, hedgerows are long rows of bushes and can be seen dividing up farmland and landscapes. They are often a mix of shrub and tree species.

    Mainly used as barriers to prevent livestock from escaping from the fields or to form boundaries, hedgerows also have many ecological benefits. Older hedgerows support an amazing diversity of plants and animals providing wildlife with a home and food. Butterflies dormice, bank voles, harvest mice, hedgehogs, bats and birds can be found in hedgerows. They can also prevent soil erosion, capture pollutants such as fertilisers and pesticides running off fields, and store carbon to help combat climate change.

    We planted Dogrose – a thorny climber, that weaves in between other shrubs, large pink or white five petalled flowers with a faint sweet smell, Bird cherry – which has mahogany coloured bark and in spring it has bowl-shaped white flowers, followed by small cherry-like fruit, Plum cherry – with an early white blossom, and yellow or red cherry like fruits which birds eat, Rowan – whose flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees and the berries are a rich source of autumn food for birds, especially the blackbird, and Spindle – which when it matures can grow to 9m and can live for more than 100 years!

    The retired Sisters who live at Ladywell joined in to help plant. With such a huge range of aged participants, it was a truly inter-generational workshop. We finished off the afternoon with well-deserved sweet treats, courtesy of the Sisters.

    The hedge was only half completed by the children from St Edmunds, so in came the local Cubs to finish it off in on a sunny evening in May. 19 Cubs along with siblings and parents planted 140 trees in just one and a half hours!

    The final project was an exciting new collaboration between Godalming Junior School and Roots for the Future. 13 of the school’s Eco Warriors planted trees in their local park. We planted six trees of various species in Canon Bowrings Playing Grounds with the permission of Waverley Borough Council. Once all the trees were in they posed for photos for the Surrey Advertiser and made it into the paper!

    We now have an ongoing relationship with Waverley Borough Council to plant trees around the borough. So we have land and there are always people interested in planting with us, local residents, schools and community groups, and so are actively looking for more funding opportunities so we can continue to tackle climate change through tree planting. Get in touch to find out more!

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    Catteshall Road, Godalming, Waverley, England