Treemendous Knapton hedgerow tree planting event

May 2021

Towards Zero carbon, the Knapton hedgerow tree planting event aimed to plant a double-row hedgerow of mixed species to enclose the recreational field. Some 30 woodland volunteers attended and planted 840 trees over the May Bank Holiday weekend 2021.

On the site, between sections 5 and 6 of the Acomb to Rufforth trail, 840 saplings were planted to create 140 metres of mixed species hedge contributing to the biodiversity of the area. It will form a green corridor for wildlife and for future generations to enjoy.

During the event Covid restrictions were still in place, so volunteer pairs or family bubbles were allocated to slots of 2 hours, which gave each group time to plant 70 trees - saplings known as ‘whips’.

The hedge is next to a safe off-road bridleway / cycleway / path that gives access through an underpass to the proposed 154-acre York Community Woodland.

Volunteer pair
Tree whips

We overcame late planting (due to the pandemic), extremely wet weather, high temperatures and very dry soils. Fortunately for us the rains came as we finished the planting.

The Woodland Trust supplied free ‘Wild Life’ and ‘Year Round Colour’ packs of 840 native hedgerow tree whips in plugs. This will assist early growth of species, Hazel, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Birch, Wild Cherry, Rowen, Dogwood and Holly.

One of the pictures shows Derek Utley, Treemendous and Woodland Trust member, demonstrating how to use an ingenious template to plant canes to support the whips, at intervals of 6 plants per metre; and giving planting instructions to include rabbit protection tubes.

Cane marking template
Family volunteers
Trail signpost

Value of Hedgerows

Hedges may support up to 80 per cent of our woodland birds, 50 per cent of our mammals and 30 per cent of our butterflies. The ditches and banks associated with hedgerows provide habitat for frogs, toads, newts and reptiles. In areas with few woods, many species of birds depend on hedgerows for their survival.

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