In April 2011, around 100 volunteers planted over 350 trees in the park as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s It’s Your Neighbourhood campaign, in conjunction with the Woodland Trust. These were donated by the Woodland Trust free of charge. In 2017 we filled in some of the gaps in our hedgerows with – you guessed it – more free saplings donated by the Woodland Trust.
As our hedges grow, they have become beautiful hedges, comprising of a mixture of native trees such as beech, dogwood, rowan, hawthorn and hazel. They were originally grown in ‘banks’, rather than as one continuous hedge, as the Government grant for the play equipment specified ‘free play’ and there was concern that a full enclosure would contradict this requirement. As time has passed Friends of Ancells Farm have been able to fill in some of the gaps as we are adamant that screening from the busy roads are required to protect local children and improve the ambience and naturalness of our park.
We continue to look after the trees through our Action Days, and have been awarded Level 4 (Thriving) from the Royal Horticultural Society’s It’s Your Neighbourhood campaign, which supports local community groups in greening their local environment.
Our thanks go tot he Woodland Trust and Fleet Town Council, without whom we would be unable to have achieved this goal. We are also grateful to Rushmoor Borough Council who provided a grant to pay for the 2017 planting expenses.