( 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.