Trees for Cities is a charity which mobilizes armies of volunteers to go plant trees. Today, it was the turn of Perivale Park, part of the new Greenford to Gurnell Greenway project.
The planting started at around 10.00, and we were organised into groups and trained to plant trees safely and correctly. Some 150+ people turned up to plant around 5000 trees. This was one of four sites around London this weekend, during which a staggering 25,000 trees were planted. It is not quite as strenuous as you might think, since the trees are small “bare-root” saplings. The ground is also prepared a few weeks in advance with a fancy machine to allow rain to permeate into the ground (there has been a lot of it recently) and to help aerate the soil. Armed with a narrow spade, various styles of planting emerged amongst the volunteers. Some people opened up a narrow slit from which was evicted a sliver of soil, the tree roots dropped in and the sliver crumbled over the roots and compacted down to create a good seal for the winter. Two spadefuls of mulch then complete the planting, which in fact was the afternoon task. Others, perhaps seeking a greater level of exercise, excavated rather larger circular holes into which the sapling was dropped. Many of the volunteers were younger than twelve I would say, but they trundled laden wheelbarrows full of bark chippings around like veterans. Shouting as they trundled that they could not remember a time they had enjoyed themselves so much (sic).
At lunchtime, we had a delicious vegan meal with salad and rice. Tea was provided using a mobile generator and a large hot water urn.
We were also greeted today with sunshine and as proof of that, I show a photo of a double rainbow, something very rarely seen. Lots of photos were taken and I might be able to show some more here soon. Meanwhile to give you a flavour of the event, these are the ones I took myself. I was of course far too busy to take more.
Note the “scrape” or shallow pond that already has water. It is thought it should retain water until about June before drying out.
Postscript. One week later and after more rain, the view of the new pond looking west. Seagulls are already more or less permanent residents.