RBSI volunteers give trees a helping hand at Val des Terres, St Peter Port

June 20th, 2011 by Richard Lord

RBSI volunteers (left to right) Chris Eker, Liz Pirouet, Lynn Whitworth, Michelle Duquemin, Adie Tempest and Tim Langlois looking after our environment (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

RBSI volunteers worked for hours on 10 June 2011 to cut by hand the tall grasses and other plants that had overgrown the trees planted by The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees (GMOTT) at the top of Le Val des Terres.

Clive Anderson participated in the original Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees (MOTT) tree planting near the Fort George archway on a third of an acre site at the top of Le Val des Terres in January 2009.

English oak, Quercus robur; small-leaved lime, Tilia cordata; and hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna; were planted.

Andrew McCutcheon, Coordinator for The Guernsey Tree Warden Scheme and Secretary of The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees, said “English oak is quite a drought tolerant species but demanding of light.”

An English Oak, Quercus robur, revealed when RBSI volunteers cleared the tall grasses from around it. (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Small-leaved lime was planted because it is a native of Guernsey, whereas large-leaved lime, Tilia platyphyllos, is not, and the hybrid they produce, the European lime grows vigorously and is not appropriate for the site.

“Hawthorn is doing very well now. They have reached twice the height of their original planted height when they were put in as saplings,” Andrew McCutcheon said.

“The trees were planted about two to three metres apart on an irregular pattern to try and mimic nature as far as possible,” he said

The trees were sponsored by the employees of Partners Group as part of their commitment to the Keep Guernsey Green Awards.

Tall grasses and other plants had grown so tall they had obscured many of the trees. The Guernsey Society of the Men of the Trees originally planted sixty trees.

Michelle Duquemin clears grasses away from a small hawthorn (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Regrettably many of these trees were accidentally cut down by a mower and so another sixty trees were planted on the site.  In clearing the tall grass, several trees were revealed from the first planting that had survived the mower cut.

Lynn Whitworth and Adie Tempest of RBSI assist Men of the Trees Secretary Andrew McCutcheon with placing a plastic sleeve around a small leaf lime tree (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Andrew McCutcheon said “the RSBI team got into the task and were extremely enthusiast throughout the day. It has been a positive experience for the Guernsey Tree Wardens to partner with a local business to work together for the good of Guernsey’s natural environment.” He thanked them for their hard work.

Liz Pirouet of RBSI clears away plants from the wood chip bedding of a hawthorn (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Jeff Williams, Head of Retail Branches at RBS International, said “with the bank supporting each employee with one day paid leave off work to volunteer for the local community, the team was delighted to support the Guernsey Society for the Men of the Trees. RBS International is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its business and it is also rewarding to personally make a difference to our natural surroundings.”

Chris Eker of RBSI uses a sickle to clear tall grass away from an English oak, Quercus robur (click image to expand - ©RLLord)


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