Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Culmers Field Allottments - Broadstairs (1998)

Trees for Thanet received a request from Kim Headley at Broadstairs & St Peters Town Council for help in November 1997. The Council had a small amount of money to buy trees and shrubs to put a hedgerow in along the fence at Culmers Field at the back of the allotments but not enough money to pay for it to be done commercially. Trees for Thanet, happy to plant other peoples money, was happy to oblige. On Saturday 7th February, the Group left the Millenium Hedge in Birchington to its own devices and shifted en-masse to Broadstairs.

As you can see from the photograph, ground clearance was not a problem and work began quickly to put in a wildlife hedge with hazel, elder, dog-rose and lime mixed in with hawthorn.

Digging turned out to be easy and 250 plants paid for by Broadstairs & St Peters Town Council quickly went into the ground.

The presence of two Leylandii (see top photograph) was not appreciated and although planted up to and on the other side, were expected to shade out and inhibit growth beneath them; this they did in due course!

The other problem was that the Council could not afford to buy enough plants to do the whole job and a section of fencing still remains un-planted to this day towards the Vere Road (Coach Park) end.

Kim Headley and the Isle of Thanet Gazette photographer turned up to record the morning's work for posterity.

Trees for Thanet weeded the planting site in the summer of 1998 and discovered that some-one who clearly knew species required for themselves had dug out 12 trees, mainly hazel , leaving the tree shelters standing but empty. This was the first instance of theft experienced by Trees for Thanet but sadly, not the last! A Trees for Thanet member who lived in Broadstairs, took on weeeding by hand in the summer of 1999 and in 2000 the tree shelters were removed. Further casualties ocurred that Spring as contractors strimming the edge of grass lawns, were less than careful. The picture below was taken in the summer of 2002.

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