Community adds biodiversity with tree planting at Les Prins Estate

February 24th, 2014 by Richard Lord

On a beautifully sunny Saturday 22 February 2014 families from Les Prins Estate near Port Soif worked with The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees to plant a variety of native trees on four well-maintained greens on the estate.

Les Prins Estate The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees tree planting (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Brian England from Les Prins Estate on the left with Kevin Lesbirel next to him and Alan Ritchie of the States of Guernsey Environment Department on the far right planting trees on Les Prins Estate (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

John Rothwell, Chairman of Les Prins Estate company, said trees planted some years ago didn’t survive long so this time the trees are being planted in groups so the trees can afford each other some protection.”

John Rothwell, Chairman of Les Prins Estate and Brian (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Brian England with a spade, with John Rothwell, Chairman of Les Prins Estate company (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Brian England, who has lived on the estate for 44 years, and is on Les Prins Estate committee, said “it was agreed at the last AGM that the Estate would have another go at planting trees.”

“Rather than planting them randomly, we planted them in groups so if we lose one or two it won’t be so noticeable,” he said.

“The private estate is owned by the company and every household in the estate is a shareholder in the company,” Brian England explained.

The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees joins Les Prins Estate residents to plant trees on public spaces (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees joins Les Prins Estate residents to plant trees in groups on the greens (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“All households pay an annual levy into the company. Money is used for general maintenance, upkeep of the roads, and clearing of the drains.”

The company hires “contractors to come on a regular basis to cut the grass,” he said.

One group of trees planted on one of the greens at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

One group of trees with 75 cm plastic mesh tube protectors planted on one of the greens at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

John Rothwell said “the tree planting is for everyone’s benefit, to enhance nature, provide habitat for birds, to improve the environment from the houses point of view, and for the benefit of future generations. That’s what it is all about,” he said.

Colin Gaudion, Treasurer of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, digs a hole at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Colin Gaudion, Treasurer of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, digs a hole to plant a tree at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Andrew McCutcheon, Secretary of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, said Les Prins Estate is generally a well-drained site with a spade’s depth of good top soil.”

Richard Loyd, Chairman of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Richard Loyd, Chairman of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Richard Loyd, Chairman of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, said “Les Prins Estate company put an application for trees through our website.”

“This tree planting project represents a fantastic example of a charity coming together with a local community.”

“We replaced trees where some trees have been lost in the past,” he said.

“These trees will provide a nice area for children to play around. Andrew McCutcheon and Chris Stonebridge of Treevolution devised the tree planting scheme using native species.”

Chris Stonebridge of Treevolution helped out and supplied the wood chips free of charge (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Chris Stonebridge of Treevolution who devised the tree planting scheme with Andrew McCutcheon also supplied the wood chips free of charge to be used around the base of each planted tree (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Andrew McCutcheon said “we planted 150 trees in total on four separate sites around the Estate.”

“The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees is all about planting the ‘right tree in the right place,” he said.

Andrew McCutcheon, Secretary of The Guernsey Society for the Men of the Trees, digs a hole to plant a tree at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Andrew McCutcheon, Secretary of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, digs a hole to plant a tree at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“We have planted native species including large leaved lime; field maple, which copes with quite dry conditions; common alder, which is a good wetland and wildlife species; some willow, which I call Guernsey sallow, although it is not a true Guernsey sallow, but is the closest species we have to it, and some silver birch as well.”

Richard Curtis of the Lihou Charitable Trust came to help out (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Richard Curtis of the Lihou Charitable Trust came to help out with tree planting at Les Prins Estate (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The alder is going to replace the poplar that has been cut down. They were cut down because they were topped and had lost a lot of branches, and didn’t look very good,” he said.

Collecting wood chips donated by Treevolution (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Bob Le Cras with his son Luke, and Zoe Carre, collecting wood chips to place around the base of the planted trees (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“Trees are good for the community,” Andrew McCutcheon said.

“Trees provide 27 separate benefits. These include the obvious such as timber, paper and food, but also they provide shelter because trees restrict wind speed, and they provide shade and cool urban areas during the summer.”

Andy McCutcheon and Zoe Carre bring a wheelbarrow full of wood chips to place around the base of planted trees (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Andy McCutcheon and Zoe Carre bring a wheelbarrow full of wood chips to place around the base of planted trees (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“The community has come out today to plant the trees.”

“It has been a great opportunity for everyone to get involved and particularly the children who have had a great time.”

Les Prins Estate and The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees plant trees on a beautiful sunny morning (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Families from Les Prins Estate with members of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees worked together to plant trees on the Estate greens on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

“They love it, and they are going to keep this experience for the rest of their lives, and I think that is the key to the success of this project.”

 

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