A community working together to create woodland for the benefit of all – to relax, to enjoy, to learn

Started as a School Tree Nursery through ERS now Andover Trees United is a collaboration of schools, specialist environmental organisations, businesses and volunteers from the local community.

The aim of Andover Trees United is to provide all young people in Andover and environs with the opportunity to take part in growing, nurturing and learning about trees and their importance through the creation of community woodland. The project further aims to maximize the involvement of the wider community by inviting them, through the young people, to work together to create woodland for the benefit of all – a place to relax, to enjoy, to learn.

ATU is in the process of leasing 7 acres from the local authority. Our 7 acres sits within 44 acres. The other 37 acres will also be developed as woodland by Hampshire County Council. The whole site will be a Woodland Trust designated Diamond Wood to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Currently 17 schools are involved (full list here)  from infants to the 6th Form College. In November and December 2011 these schools built tree nurseries in their grounds and, thanks to the invaluable support of the Earth Restoration Service, hundreds of pupils planted 1200 tree whips in total.

 

Between November 26th and December 7th 2012, these tree whips will be planted out, the first of ten such annual plantings, which will grow intoAndover’s own community woodland.

Each school is offered the support of a dedicated team of community-based gardeners to ensure sustainability. The project is further supported by local arboriculturists, landscape designers, botanists and ecologists who will help us to develop ‘a woodland within a woodland’, incorporating ideas generated by the young people within our community.

 

 

Report written by Wendy Davis August 3rd 2012

Wendy Davis is a teacher at Portway Junior School. She first set up a school tree nursery working with ERS in 2007. So impressed was she with the concept of a school tree nursery and the work of ERS that she was determined to introduce it to as many schools as possible and out of this determination Andover Trees United (so named by young people across the town) was born.

Without ERS there would have been no Andover Trees United; without ATU as a catalyst the 44 acre site would not have been acquired by HCC and the new woodland to be planted on it would never have existed.

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