22nd Feb 12
Jubilee Trees planted at Tongham
Who says community spirit is dead, certainly not in Tongham. Last Sunday over 90 people came out to Tongham Community Wood to plant more than 300 trees and shrubs. They included members of TWIG (Tongham Wood Improvement Group) who organised the day, youngsters and leaders from all three sections of the 4th Farnham (Tongham) Scout Group, plus many other local residents who came along to do their bit for the environment.

With so many helping hands available there were three separate planting groups on the 4.5 hectare (11 acre) site: one planted a new wildlife friendly hedgerow, comprising 105 fruiting shrubs of crab apple, elder, dog rose, blackthorn and hazel, all donated by the Woodland Trust. The Trust also provided a special commemorative oak tree from the Royal Estate, which was planted in the wood.

A second group planted 200 hazel whips to increase the site’s hazel coppice. These, together with 200 tree tubes, were supplied by eForests, who also gave 25 trees comprising cherry, oak, silver birch and cherry plum planted by a third group. TWIG previously worked with eForests – an organisation who fund and support carbon reduction, sustainable energy and tree planting projects around the country – in 2010.

“The turn-out was terrific,” said Iain Murray Chairman of TWIG, “As Tongham is a community wood we’re delighted so many people came along to help, particularly so many youngsters. We hope the event will inspire them to get involved with looking after the woodland and to watch how the trees they’ve planted today grow.”

The event was part of the nationwide Jubilee Tree Project, co-ordinated by the Woodland Trust which aims to plant six million trees in 2012, the Queen’s Jubilee year. The 300 plus trees and shrubs were all donated and with so many people there to help, the job was completed within a couple of hours.

All the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts involved were working for their Environmental Badges and Bill Weller, Scout Group Section leader commented: “It was a great day to be out in the fresh air working within the community.”

Ten years ago Tongham Wood a semi-natural woodland, with old oak stands and coppice stools, was neglected, unmanaged, overgrown and subject to fly tipping. So a group of local volunteers, supported by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership formed TWIG and began to clean it up and turn it into an amenity that could be used by the whole community for leisure and recreation and to further encourage wildlife to the area. Today the wood is a proud testament to all their hard work and is open to all local residents. New volunteers are always welcome to join TWIG and if you would like further information visit their website (www.tonghamwood.org.uk) or contact them by e-mail (twig@tonghamwood.org.uk )

For further information contact:
Christine Reeves, Visitor Promotions Officer on 01252 331353.
• Tongham Wood Improvement Group (TWIG) was set up in October 2002 and is a local voluntary group set up to promote and manage Tongham Community Wood. Working under the guidance of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, TWIG has gradually been improving the area for the enjoyment and well being of the whole community, and also to protect the area from further development for the benefit of the local community. Find out more at www.blackwater-valley.org.uk/tongham_community_wood.HTM
• TWIG are supported by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership (BVCP) which is formed of the County, Borough, District, Town and Parish Councils along the River Blackwater. It works to promote community action in conservation and recreation and to protect the Valley for the enjoyment and well being of the whole community.
• For more information about the Woodland Trust Jubilee Woods (www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/jubilee-woods/Pages/home.aspx )
• For more information about eForests (www.eforests.co.uk)
• For more information about 4th Farnham (Tongham) Scout Group (www.tonghamscouts.co.uk )

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