Saturday, 10 November 2007
This season's first day of planting
Today was the first day of our 2007/2008 season of planting trees in the Colne Valley. My name is Simon, and I'm the secretary of the Colne Valley Tree Society. We are a registered charity, set up in 1965, which aims to re-plant native trees in the landscape to the west of Huddersfield. We meet each saturday morning throughout the winter. We meet at a nursery in Linthwaite at around 9.30. This first picture is of Philip (our chairman) selecting trees for the mornings planting. Geoff had sorted and labelled the trees last week, but had marked them up with water soluble felt pen. The rain washed off the names of sites!
Having loaded up the cars and a trailer with 400 trees, stakes and guards we set off for our first site of the season, the far side of Butterly Reservoir. This is Yorkshire Water owned land, and we are planting there with their full permission, and with advice and guidance from English Nature. The first chore of the day was carrying all of the trees, stakes, guards and tools from the cars over to the far side of the reservoir. The weather wasn't fabulous, but we all wear appropriate clothes and are prepared to get wet and muddy.
This next pic is of Philip, Cath and Geoff busy planting. This is very wet patch, so we are planting predominantly alder here, which should flourish in the damp ground. As you can see we are planting in amidst bracken, and one of our summer jobs is to come back and cut bracken around the trees so that they can get light and get established. In the background you can see the reservoir and in the far distance, Marsden. You can see that volunteers wear a fetching ensemble of old walking clothes, army surplus and interesting hats.
We didn't get a huge amount of planting done this morning. Taking the kit to the site took quite a lot of time, the site was steep and wet, and we needed to make several promotional video films for Geoff to put on the society's Facebook site. This was fun, but we really should have worked harder.
Last pic is of an alder tree being planted. We buy all our trees, and funding comes from a variety of sources. There was much debate this year as to whether we should be planting "root trainer" or "bare rooted" trees. This particular tree is a "root trainer" grown with a small long root ball. Later in the season we are going to experiment with "bare rooted" which may be cheaper to buy and easier to plant (according to some members of the society).
Oh, and the most important thing, this weeks homemade cake for breaktime was coffee and walnut cake, made by my mother.