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Fifth Lockdown Wood Planted!

Updated: May 8, 2023

The fifth Lockdown Wood was planted on Sunday 13 November in Hamstead Marshall.

A team of 22 Newbury Friends of the Earth members and friends gathered to plant 110 home-grown saplings in a meadow belonging to Hamstead Marshall residents Hallam and Katie Goad. There was a mixture of native broadleaved species, including many oaks, chestnuts, maple, silver birch, plus a few yews. A hedge was also planted with home-grown hazel, hawthorn and holly. All of the young trees were protected against deer grazing with recycled tree guards.

Newbury Friends of the Earth coordinator Dr Susan Millington, Lockdown Woods project leader said “We had a fantastic morning, in unseasonably warm dry weather, planting our fifth Lockdown Wood. The unusual mild weather on the day emphasised how important it is for us all to take a range of actions to protect the health of our planet, and we are very happy to have planted well over 2000 trees during this project. In time these will remove carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up in beautiful, life-giving woodlands. The field lies quite wet, so is not used for agriculture, making it a good spot for growing trees if the UK climate continues to get dryer in summer (while young trees elsewhere will need ongoing watering). Using saplings from parent trees growing locally gives an added advantage, as they will be better adapted to living in these particular conditions than any brought in from elsewhere. It was so heartening to see a group of friends coming together to do this important work and enjoy each other’s company at the same time”.

One of the organising team, Clive Williams said “This was a fantastic opportunity to combine community activity with helping the environment. It is good to think that many people have improved their mental wellbeing during the lockdown restrictions of the Covid pandemic by looking after and raising the saplings which we planted here today. I had a great day, and am very grateful to Hallam and Katie for letting us plant these precious trees in their beautiful meadow”.

The landowner, Hallam Goad, commented “We were fortunate to be included in this latest Lockdown Woods planting scheme, in part of our wildflower meadow, which is also used by the ‘Dancers' Forest’, a project that is creating outdoor spaces for dance. It was an absolute pleasure to have everyone there, and my 2 daughters planted a couple of trees and had a cuppa!“


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