The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees beautifies and adds biodiversity to Delancey Park

January 27th, 2014 by Richard Lord

The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees volunteers planted trees on east-facing terraced land marked on maps as wildlife habitat in Delancey Park, St Sampson on Saturday morning, 25 January 2014.

Wood cleared from the terraces in Delancey Park by Community Service (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Some of the wood cleared from the terraces in Delancey Park by Community Service (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

The St Sampson parish land, which had become overgrown and had accumulated litter, was cleared by Community Service before The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees volunteers began planting.

The States of Guernsey Culture and Leisure department maintain Delancey Park to provide facilities such as the football field, the bowling green, and the children’s playground.

Litter on the terraces where The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees planted trees (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Litter, which was removed, on the terraces where The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees planted trees (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Andrew McCutcheon, Secretary of the Guernsey charity, said “over the years there have been various tree planting initiatives. In the 1990s there was a States of Guernsey scheme that funded the planting of trees in Delancey Park.”

“Those trees have established very well,” he said.

Richard Loyd, Chairman of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, at the tree planting in Delancey Park (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Richard Loyd, Chairman of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, at the tree planting in Delancey Park (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“What we are doing today is an augmentation of those other plantings to beautify the area and improve its biodiversity by increasing the matrix of habitats that we have got here.”

“Delancey is a really fantastic green, open space and people need places like this to go to,” he said.

The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees treasurer Colin Gaudion (left), and Secretary Andrew McCutcheon (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees treasurer Colin Gaudion (left), and Secretary Andrew McCutcheon (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“This woodland we are creating is a native naturalised mix.”

“We are planting silver birch, small-leaved lime, sweet chestnut, and a few fruit trees – wild cherry, wild peer, and crab apple, and hazelnut and holly to demarcate the boundary with the bowling green at the bottom of the hill.”

Holly is part of the planting scheme (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Holly is part of the planting scheme (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“These trees represent primary food producers.”

“We’re also planting a few hawthorn here, which provide a food source for a huge range of invertebrate life.”

“Caterpillars and other invertebrates feed on the leaves, and these provide a source of food for many of the song birds living around here,” Andrew McCutcheon said.

Some of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees volunteers distributing wood chips (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Some of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees volunteers distributing wood chips (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The other important thing to remember is that you don’t want to be too tidy here because we need to provide habitat for animals like hedgehogs for example, which we know are in serious decline,” he said.

Ground prepared, whips planted, protected by plastic sleeves, and surrounded by wood chips (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Ground prepared, whips planted, protected by plastic sleeves, and surrounded by wood chips (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“You’ve got to have areas that are relatively undisturbed.”

“If we don’t ensure that hedgehogs have the right habitat available to them then very shortly we may be facing the possibility of local extinction,” he said.

Some of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees working on the terraced hillside in Delancey Park on Saturday 25 January 2014 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Some of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees working on the terraced hillside in Delancey Park on Saturday 25 January 2014 (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The invertebrate life that feed on the trees will provide a food source for hedgehogs and song birds as well.”

“We want to encourage a matrix of habitat rather than just a mowed grass area or a tidy lawn.”

The terraced area in Delancey Park where The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees planted a variety of trees to improve habitat, biodiversity, and a sanctuary (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The terraced area in Delancey Park where The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees planted a variety of trees to improve the habitat, the biodiversity, and improve the areas attractiveness (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“We have another tree planting with Waitrose beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday 11 February 2014 just below the children’s playground in Delancey Park.”

“We are going to be preparing that site for planting old English cultivated varieties of fruit trees.”

“We are going to create an orchard with apples and pears, which is an initiative that Waitrose is funding.”

“And of course we’re tying in that idea on this piece of land by planting hazelnut and sweet chestnut so we can come back in 40 years time and have a grand harvest,” he said.

 

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