Moments with Trees Newsletter (January)

Moments watching the first signs of life on our broadleaf trees
We have another year of Moments with Trees, thanks to HLF!

Happy New Year! It's been a great start to 2018 for Moments with Trees! We have launched the entry collection for the photography exhibition, received super support from Volunteers, started a 100 metre willow tunnel in Bluebell Wood, relaunched the Tree Detectives Trail with new and improved tree markers and met with some wonderful groups and individuals who wish to support various elements project. Thank you to everyone involved - you've helped make a super start!


Conservation Volunteers

Clearing unhealthy elm trees for hedgerow creation.

After a short break over the Christmas period, our regular volunteers returned with gusto!

Unfortunately, the elm trees along Ham Lane were suffering from Dutch elm disease and were unlikely to ever reach full maturity. Our Volunteers worked hard removing and clearing these trees. They were carefully replaced with a mixture of native species to create a hedgerow. In spring we should see field maple, holly, hawthorn, whitebeam, oak and cheery burst through their protective guards in their race for the sun light.

It keeps growing....

Down Ham Lane they go... Angie did have some help!

The group returned to continue the hedgerow - you may have noticed them working hard as you drove into the Park. Do continue to watch this space... we will soon be introducing four non-native walnut trees set behind the hedgerow. Walnut trees can live for 200 years and it is believed they were brought here by the Romans for their good tasting nuts. They were selected for this area with projected climate change in mind - a warming planet is likely to benefit walnut growth in the UK.

Bluebell Wood's willow tunnel

Greenwoods and others

Preparation is key! Thanks for a super start!

We were lucky enough to have a great team from Greenwoods help us and the Moments with Trees Volunteers with the harvesting of material for our tunnel. They worked so enthusiastically coppicing the willow from the osier beds - they gathered the bones of our tunnel. Not only that, they bundled them up and took them to the site ready to start the tunnel the following week. This was long and tricky job on a cold day and they did marvellously! Thank you so much for this wonderful start - you enabled us to hit the ground running!

Moments with Trees Volunteers and Renny

And tunnel creation began!

After a few discussions on the design and structure of the 100 meter tunnel, the creativity began! Our Volunteers worked with the existing willow to create a beautifully looped willow fence that marks the entrance of the tunnel, while others worked on planting large willow stakes to form the 'ribs' of the tunnel. Planting the 'ribs' is a tricky job and poor (but strong) Project Officer, Gary, was the only one present who could make the holes for the willow deep enough using a rather heavy metal bar! He was quite exhausted after this first session! We hope that the stakes will take root (the magic of willow) and start branching out this spring. Our Volunteers had no prior experience of working with willow - they learnt on the job and picked it up very quickly!

BGL and others

The fun you can have with willow!

Another hard working team from BGL came to continue the willow tunnel with the Moments with Trees Volunteers. It was such a productive and enjoyable day - thank you to all who were part of it! The 'ribs' were twisted and tied with willow to create the arches and then more willow was woven in along the top to join the arches and strengthen the structure, creating the 'spine' of the tunnel. Luckily for Gary, there were members of the team who could make deep holes with the heavy bar! They worked so hard and managed well over 50 ribs - I hope you didn't ache as much as Gary did the previous week! Because they worked so hard and got so much done, Renny had time to teach the group how to make items out of willow. The BGL team have a lovely willow dragonfly for their office mascot! I hope it is a lovely reminder of the good day we had - using our hands and working with nature to create a beautiful spot for our visitors to enjoy!

It's been a pleasure working with Renny Antonelli, from Eco Works and The Green Backyard. Renny has been sharing his extensive knowledge of willow and its uses. Renny was taught how to work with willow by expert weaver, Len Wilcox. Len Wilcox, and his family before him, managed the osier beds in Bluebell Wood to supply the willow baskets in Peterborough.

Family Volunteering

So much fun with the families!

Parents and grandparents came along with children and grandchildren to the Friends and Families Volunteer session. Here the families used bow saws and loppers to coppice willow that was used to renew and strengthen a dead hedge that is protecting an area of woodland. We hope this protected area will attract ground nesting birds without the fear of dogs coming to sniff out their homes.

Dead hedge

Gary's Hit Squad Volunteers

We would like to thank all our Volunteers for their hard work. We couldn't do all this work without your help. We know our visitors and trees appreciate this too!

Big thanks!

Volunteer opportunities

As the poster states, contact Hannah should you wish to take part in the sessions. If you are a corporate group and would like to make a day of it, we can extend the sessions as we have done for BGL and Greenwoods.

Due to the popularity of Friends & Family Volunteer sessions, we have selected the Friday 16 and Saturday 17 of February to be a family event, where children as young as four can come along and help plant the trees. We have gloves and tools for little hands. If you are interested in these days, you will need to book via the Nene Park website: https://neneparktrust.cloudvenue.co.uk/home

PECT tree planting dates

If you enjoy planting trees for the future, PECT will also be holding tree planting events around Peterborough. Follow the links for more details:

Saturday 3rd February: Tree Planting at Sacrewell Farm https://www.pect.org.uk/event/tree-planting-day-7/

Saturday 17th February: Tree Planting at Sacrewell Farm https://www.pect.org.uk/event/tree-planting-day-8/

Saturday 24th February: Tree Planting at Grange Farm https://www.pect.org.uk/event/tree-planting-day-9/

More Moments with Trees Volunteer opportunities

As well as the tree planting in Bluebell Wood and Thorpe Meadows, we have other volunteer positions: Woodland Management Parties if you want to make a difference in the Park's woodlands, Project Officer Support if you like planning, organising and attending events, History Researcher if you like interpreting historic documents. We are very lucky to have a small team of researchers for the history project (huge thank you to Cathy, Hannah and Lisa). They do an amazing job, but they could always do with more help.. there is an awful lot of history out there!


We are excited to see entries coming in! Our trees have been captured beautifully and we are looking forward to receiving more, so please do send them in! We are accepting pictures of individual trees, woodland scenes and images of tree parts - a close up of a tree's buds, blossom, bark and leaves. Any image that highlights the beauty of trees! We are lucky to have a team from the Peterborough Regional College Media and Journalism Centre help support this work (thank you so much for your help), so look out for future events around photography and trees.

Tree Detectives

Leaflet available at the Information Centre & Gift Shop.

The Tree Detectives Trail was launched last summer. We asked for Visitors' feedback and some stated they struggled to find the disks hidden in the trees. To improve this trail, we have made larger disks, used bright coloured numbers and placed them at eye-level. The trail takes you through Bluebell Wood highlighting the notable and some of the oldest trees in the area. Once you find a marked tree, use your detective skills and study the tree and the poems and images on the leaflet to determine which tree is which. If you write your answers down and return to the Information Centre and Gift Shop, you can collect a prize!

They should be much easier to spot!

Tree Trails - Woodston Reach Lynch Wood

Green Festival

Saturday 11th August and Sunday 12th August

PECT are celebrating their 25th year! They will be holding their annual Green Festival at Ferry Meadows. The event will bring together attractions, community groups, charities and businesses to encourage visitors to discover how to live more sustainably (sustainable transport, recycling, locally and sustainably produced food, and nature and biodiversity). It will be fun for all the family!

Moments with Trees will be supporting the event. To encourage sustainable travel, we will be hosting a 3.7 mile walk from Peterborough city centre to Ferry Meadows hunting out impressive trees along the picturesque route. The walk will bring people to the Park to enjoy the Green Festival. There will also be a Moments with Trees stall where you can attended for tree-themed activities.

Stamford Community Orchard Group (SCOG)

SCOG will also be attending Ferry Meadows on Sunday 23rd September to host an apple pressing event! They will bring their pressing equipment to show visitors how to make apple juice, cider and cider vinegar.

Branching Out

We are still taking bookings for the spring and summer terms. We have limited spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

The Branching Out programme has reached over 2,000 children across a selection of Peterborough Schools. Teacher feedback is positive and includes comments:

"Very interesting facts about trees – the children were asking lots of questions which were answered to further understanding. Engaging activities."

"Children were fascinated by all the information/knowledge Hannah shared with the children."

"The children loved having someone to share their existing knowledge with and they were inquisitive wanting to ask more and more questions."

"I think the children learnt lots of new things today, which will give them the confidence to explore more outside."

"I can't believe its free!"

Children's feedback from Southfields Primary School

Following a Branching Out session at Southfields, it was an absolute pleasure to receive these beautifully written letters from the year one children. I hope you love for trees continues!

All the Moments with Trees events, past and future, are free of charge, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (a big thanks to HLF!).

If you would like to receive this newsletter direct to your inbox, contact Hannah at hannah.keeley@neneparktrust.org.uk

You can follow Moments with Trees on Twitter for daily tree tweets @moments_w_trees

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