Sunday, 24 June 2007


The Try Angle Awards recognise the achievements of young people in our community and it was great news that Trees for Thanet Group was nominated again this year. Seven members were able to attend the Awards at the Winter Gardens on Thursday 21 June to find that Trees for Thanet had won the 'Citizenship and the Environment' category for Thanet.

It is the fifth time in the past 10 years that Trees for Thanet, as a Group, or as individual members, have had the work of its young volunteers recognised in such a way at The Try Angle Awards. It is great that the hard-work and dedication of the young members of the Group is recognised in this public way; their work of course, sits in the ground growing for all to see and will do so for many years to come.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


The picture above shows yet another speeding driver paying the penalty on the bend on The Manston Road over the Saturday/ Sunday period of 16th/17th June. No damage was done to the HSBC Hedgerow and verge marks indicate the vehicle flipped over into its position in the wheat. This makes 6 vehicles known about since the hedge was planted in 2006. It will be interesting to see the damage done to the crop and The HSBC Hedgerow when the vehicle is recovered. Claims against the drivers insurers will probably have to be made.

Fly tipping continues unabated at the start of the Bridleway on Park Road and we have a washing machine and a pile of wood from a gardening weekend left by anti-social members of the public who cannot be bothered to go to the Recreational Tip less than a mile away. The QEQM Hedge is slowly catching up with The Millenium Hedge on the far side of the lane.

The picture below shows the dangers of litter. Members have found dead voles and shrews in plastic bottles, crisp packets and now in a vehicle light cover. Smooth shiny surfaces mean that once these small mammals are inside they are unable to get purchase with tiny feet to get out again. Death comes quickly through starvation for shrews but short-tailed voles have a lingering death unless rain fills containers and drowns them. This discarded litter claimed a shrew and a vole.

Monday, 18 June 2007

GREEN PLACES (Issue 36 / June 07)

Trees for Thanet gets coverage in The Landscape Design Trust Journal 'GREEN PLACES'. A former member of Trees for Thanet, Benedict Vanheems, joined our 10th Planting Season celebrations in April and very kindly submitted the article above.

Monday, 11 June 2007


The picture below shows the problem very clearly; 'Spot the Hedge?'
In amongst this lush early June growth is a double-row hawthorn hedge planted in early March 2006 on The Manston Road. The hedge was planted with spiral guards and supporting canes. The thick grasses and weeds not only compete for water but also prevent light getting into the smaller hawthorns. Another problem is the thick growth provides an ideal habitat for snails which seem to think that a new hawthorn leaf is the best item on their menu! The kit needed is quite simple: petrol strimmer and face and ear guard; old roll mat for aching knees; wellies and socks; gardening gloves; flask of hot coffee and big rubbish bag.
Both sides of the hedge are strimmed out to 2ft and on the road side, this entails strimming the whole verge for cosmetic reasons. Then its simply a case of get down on knees and pull everything out around and between the plants and lay detritus back between the rows to act as a natural mulch.

This section is now clear. Light can get into the plants; water competition is reduced and mulch helps retain moisture. Snails don't find it such an attractive habitat! Experience has shown that if the hedge is left overgrown, casualty rates of young plants rises dramatically.
The outcome is excellent but the job itself seems un-ending and is akin to painting The Forth Road Bridge!; no sooner do you get to the end ................. .

Sunday, 3 June 2007


The start of June saw the final plastic spirals and canes removed from the 2004/2005 Season's planting on the Manston Road and in Quex Park. This meant a total of 2,600 spirals and 2,600 canes were removed altogether after 2 years of supporting young plants. The picture above shows piles of spiral guards awaiting collection and removal. Due to the sun's UV radiation breaking down the plastic , the spirals become brittle and cannot be re-used.

Summer weeding is almost complete in Quex Park and the process is to carefully strim down either side of the young hedge and then hand-weed in between the plants with all debris then placed between plants and between the front and back rows as a 'mulch'. The 'mulch' helps suppress further weed growth and retain moisture and as a result competition for moisture is reduced. This , together with allowing light into the lower part of the hedge, improves growth and thickening of the hedge.

Weeding will move shortly to the Manston Road planting of 2004/5 and the 2006 planting , where spirals will stay in place until next Spring. Good rainfall on both May Bank Holiday weekends has meant that growth is not water stressed at the moment!