2011-03-26 Saplings

Saplings give new leaf of life to the forgotten land

RESIDENTS are improving their neighbourhood by planting 420 native tree saplings this weekend.

The trees have been donated by the Royal Horticultural Society and the Woodland Trust as part of a scheme that aims to double the number of native trees in the UK.

  1. <P>Branching out:   Carly Williams, front, with fellow helpers Martin Sommerville, left, and Coral Norris. </P><P>PICTURE: DAN MATTHAMS NODA20110312A-0161_C</P>

    Branching out: Carly Williams, front, with fellow helpers Martin Sommerville, left, and Coral Norris.

Community artists Carly Williams and Martin Sommerville, who both live in Dowson Street, are planting the saplings with the help of neighbours and members of the St Ann’s Improvement Association.

Carly, who has lived in St Ann’s for seven years, said the idea developed from Dowson Street’s involvement in the Nottingham In Bloom and Britain in Bloom campaigns.

“Since meeting lots of neighbours last year and putting up hanging baskets, we got talking to people about some of the unused patches of land around our streets,” she said.

“We’ve been planning to do some gardening projects and we’ve been talking to the council about using some of the patches of land for community gardens.

“A group of us have been getting together once a month and talking about ideas.”

Their efforts are being documented in a blog at http://www.st annsprojects.wordpress.com.

Cherries, silver birches, hazels and maples are being planted in patches of unused land. Some of them were planted yesterday with the help of school pupils.

The association, which was set up by Hudson Street resident Amanda Jamieson, has previously arranged for free hanging baskets to be put up around St Ann’s.

Neighbours in Dowson Street also held a planting day last year.

“That was just the beginning of meeting new people, making friends, and ideas grew from there,” said Carly.

The residents are keen to hear from others in St Ann’s who have ideas about community planting, gardens and brightening their streets.

The horticultural society and the trust have given away 200,000 tree saplings to communities across the UK, and this weekend’s planting in St Ann’s coincides with a national tree planting weekend.

It has also been supported by the city council’s Clean Team and Nottingham In Bloom partnership, Coleen Francis from the Renewal Trust and neighbourhood environment manager Mark Sunderland.

Written by Caroline Lowbridge

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