Today is International Volunteer Day and as we've reached the end of National Tree Week, we'd like to celebrate volunteers, particularly those who have helped us care for our local woodlands and trees.
Over the last 12 months, volunteers have given their previous time to both the planting of trees and hedgerows, and to essential woodland management around the Malvern Hills and Commons.
Tree-mendous tree planters
With the support of the Forestry Commission's Urban Tree Challenge Fund, pupils from The Chase School's Eco Club volunteered to plant new trees near to their school on Poolbrook Road. The sixteen eager students from year 7 to 14 prepared the pits, planted the trees and erected protective guards. Using a wide variety of hand tools the pupils gained new practical skills from the experience as well as learning more about their local environment. The students will now see the trees they have planted grow to maturity and form an important part of this area's local character.
Trust volunteers also took part in a planting day and planted 12 trees along the Poolbrook Road earlier this year.
In total, 39 standard trees have been planted along the wide verges of Sherrards Green and Poolbrook Road, bringing multiple benefits to these communities. A mixture of native species including Apple, Hornbeam, Lime, Rowan and Cherry have been selected in the hope that a broad mix of species will be more robust against diseases and climate change.
Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer said "It was a delight to involve The Chase pupils in our tree planting project. The pupils brought a real enthusiasm and were keen to get stuck into all aspects of the planting process. We're extremely grateful for how hard they worked and the results of their efforts are clear to see with seven new trees planted near to the school."
"This project was an opportunity to bring a new generation of trees to some of Malvern's urban areas. These locations were carefully chosen where there are fewer trees and where tree planting will positively impact communities, both environmentally and socially, and the local landscape character too."
This tree planting followed the restoration of a community plum orchard near St Andrews Road where volunteers from Colwall Orchard Group planted 10 new plum trees - also funded by the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
Almost 450 metres of new hedge and hedge restoration has been completed thanks in part to volunteers. The project to connect the habitats around the foothills of the Malvern Hills was funded by Defra's Farming in Protected Landscapes fund, administered by the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The new hedgerows provide corridors for wildlife, shelter and a food source. They will also help to stop water and soil run-off from the fields which are grazed by cattle and sheep.
The woodland of Park Wood has benefitted from the efforts of volunteers alongside a professional coppice worker. Volunteers dedicate their time to manage the woodland in a low impact way by creating glades, ridges and structural diversity within the woodland.
Coppicing hazel stools (cutting the hazel right back to its base) on rotation provides vegetation of various ages which benefits wildlife such as Dormice, butterflies and rare plants.
How you can help
If you'd like to get involved as a volunteer, find out more about our Conservation Days.
You can also support our woodland works and tremendous trees by giving either at a fundraising concert or donate at Just Giving.
Thank you all for your wonderful support for the future of trees.