Thursday, 20 December 2007


( Project 15 on Projects Map)

After 4 Saturday mornings' work, we finished the Phillips Shelter Belt on Acol Hill on Saturday 15th December. We were delighted to welcome the founders of The Phillips Fund (our sponsors for this project), Bill and Dorothy Phillips who kindly planted the last tree (an Alder) for us. We were also pleased to welcome Anthony Curwen (Quex Park Estates), Sheila Bransfield (Chair of Acol Parish Council) and Bernie O'Grady (associate Head of Ursuline College). The little 'ceremony' brought together all the components that have made Trees for Thanet work so successfully over the years; sponsorship funding, farmers and landowners, the local community and hard working and enthusiastic young people.
This is the view of the Phillips Shelter Belt on Acol Hill as you head towards Birchington from Acol. 260 trees were planted and protected with mulch sheet and tubex tree shelters. A gap for farm machinery access was left towards the top of the hill. A mixture of the following 10 native British species was planted: Lime, Silver Birch, Ash, Alder, Field Maple, Hazel, Willow, Wild Cherry, Hawthorn and Wayfaring Tree. A single maritime Pine was planted after being donated by a passing villager!
This is the view from the top of the Shelter Belt looking south towards Acol Village and the belt of Leylandii screening Acol Caravan Park. Due to rain preventing the preparation of the 6m planting belt, the trees were planted into an earlier seeded winter wheat crop. This will have to be 'treated' and grass seed will be sown in the spring. The Shelter Belt will need maintenance for some time to come to develop a valuable wild-life habitat and aesthetically pleasing strip of woodland.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Saturday 1st December, found Trees for Thanet back on Acol Hill to plant the middle row of the Phillips Shelter Belt, less Silver Birch which were not available from the nursery. A mixture of Limes, Alder and Ash were planted. The photograph above shows the heavy duty mulch sheet being placed and dug in. The sheeting prevents competition for water from grasses and weeds as well as warming the soil in spring and retaining moisture in hot dry weather.

Each tree will be protected with a tubex shelter that allows light to penetrate and photosynthesis to occur in a warm still environment for lower leaves. The tubex shelter is held in place by banging in a securing stake. (see photo above)

60 trees were mulch sheeted and protected by the time work finished and the picture below shows the 'march' up Acol Hill has begun.

Monday, 3 December 2007


We were delighted that Infratil, the owners of Kent International Airport, Manston and Oasis Hong Kong Airlines agreed to sponsor a new hedgerow to be planted on the south side of Shottendane Road from the junction of Park Road to the junction of Minster Road.
The 530m hedgerow will be a double hawthorn hedge with wild cherry trees planted every 20m and will 'connect' to the end of our 'Millenium Hedgerow' in Park Road. (see Projects Map).

Work will begin this month and it is hoped that the project will be completed by the end of January/early February 2008. Hawthorns will be cut back to 6-8" and covered with black plastic mulch sheet to prevent weed growth, water competition and to retain moisture.

Members of Trees for Thanet had an enjoyable visit to Manston on Tuesday 27 November for the presentation of a generous cheque for £3,000 from our sponsors. John Armitage, Business Development Support Manager for the airport met the group and looked after all security aspects and very kindly arranged a trip in a fire tender for those whose ID was not adequate.

The cheque presentation was made by Matt Clarke, Chief Executive of Kent International Airport, and Gerard Clarke, UK General Manager for Oasis Hong Kong Airlines .Members were then given a guided tour of Oasis Hong Kong's 747-400 series aircraft by the Captain and crew who had landed specifically for the presentation. The Isle of Thanet Gazette were there to record the event!