Thursday, 12 April 2007

" Environmental Project - 2000 " (Phase 1- 1999)

(Project 5 on Projects Map)

An old hedge used to run along the North side of Woodchurch Road from the bend at Hackthorne Farm to the junction with the Manston Road. The aim of the first stage of the 'Environmental Project 2000' was to fill gaps in the old hedge and reinstate long open sections. Money was raised by another 'Sponsor a Tree' campaign and £1,000 was donated by Quex Park. This enabled many gaps to be filled and a long open section was double row planted down towards Reclamet. This was the first 'double-row' planting; 'The Millenium Hedge' was a single row. The double row planting tends to produce a thicker, sturdier hedge.

The volunteers look at the job!

The 'nerve centre' where tubex meet their trees.

The front row going into an 'open' furrow prepared by the farmer to assist planting.
The front row takes shape (view towards Manston Road)

Scouts from 1st Westgate join Trees for Thanet

Another Saturday morning and the second row goes in.

A snail's view of the rows of protective tubex

A total of 1,350 hawthorns were planted in Jan/Feb 1999 and 36 young people were involved with 1st Westgate Scouts joining Trees for Thanet volunteers for the first time.

The Group came in for quite a bit of criticism from passing horse-riders and motorists. The motorists regarded the lane as their own race-track and did not understand that dangerous driving and excessive speed causes accidents, not hedgerows. The horse-riders did not understand that the hedge-row projects were just a part of a much bigger plan. The Group had been in discussion with Quex Park about the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Quex Park were putting forward proposals for a 6m wide headland to be sown behind the hedgerows, which would include a 'permissive bridleway'. This was done! Have any horse-riders bothered to volunteer to help or even pick up litter in the past 8 years?

Of 7km of hedge-row planted since the Trees for Thanet Group began work, this hedgerow has had most deliberate damage caused to it by local residents and horse-riders. Rather than trot or walk to un-planted access points, young trees and tubex were trampled to create gaps to gain access to the headlands from a number of points opposite or close to drive-ways. Such vandalism by adults is actually criminal damage and discourages young people.

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