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Trees for Life plans to build on success of hedgerow campaign

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TWELVE years on from the start of the Jersey Trees for Life Hedgerow Campaign, more than 50,000 hedging plants and trees have been planted, creating over 25 miles of hedgerows.

The organisation is planning to increase its annual planting project, which is among a number of initiatives it carries out, protecting and planting trees and managing existing woodland.

The charity recently invited supporters and volunteers to a reception at Government House.

Its chairman, Gerard Farnham, told those who had gathered that more needed to be done and the charity would be increasing its efforts, hoping to far exceed its usual annual targets.

‘The “Environmental Emergency” declared by the States has helped polarise views and will only help in our and others’ aims to improve awareness of the importance and value of the countryside environment to which this all contributes,’ he said.

‘Expanding on the hedgerow planting theme we are strongly encouraging flexibility by the government in the classification of agricultural land in the hope that the planting of trees can be better achieved, not just in valleys and less accessible areas but in more open and varied locations.’

The charity is also hoping to increase the amount of land it manages and wants to increase the number of trees planted over the coming year.

Mr Farnham explained that although the opportunities to off-set carbon emissions on an island this size were limited, they do play an important part in a combined climate strategy.

‘Our Arboretum project at Val de la Mare reservoir is going from strength to strength. We are currently working with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh who are conducting a complete tree survey as well as helping us with our long term strategy document.’

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Mr Farnham told those present the Arboretum contained a number of significant trees and had potential to do more because of the unique micro-climates found there.

‘Amongst the varied and often seriously endangered trees are several National Champions and two trees that are the only examples of their kind in Europe – and which are thriving, I hasten to add. We are looking forward to some great leaps forward over the coming years.’

Among other developments being worked on by the charity is growing its own locally sourced trees.

It is working with the Environment Department, which has provided space for a tree nursery at Howard Davis Farm. This allows the charity to grow trees no longer available due to import limitations caused by the threat of disease, such as ash dieback, but it also protects bio-security by producing locally sourced tree stocks with a known provenance.

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