First Isle of Wight community tree nursery takes shape in Ryde

Staff and volunteers from Spectrum Medina, in association with Natural Enterprise, have built the Isle of Wight’s first community tree nursery as part of the Big Tree Plant project.

Isle of Wight Tree Nursery

A former brownfield site at the back of Spectrum’s depot in Ryde has recently been transformed into a temporary home for more than 6,000 trees. The trees, which are all native varieties and include oak, elm, field maple, walnut and hazel, will gradually be planted throughout community spaces, streets and neighbourhoods across the Island over the next three years.

Suzie Mundell, Active Communities Project Co-ordinator for Spectrum Medina, explains more:

“We’re looking forward to starting work very soon planting trees in several of our neighbourhoods and have designated tree planting schemes for areas in Newport, Ryde and East Cowes already.

Planting trees in residential areas not only makes a huge difference to the visual appeal of an area but also provides shelter and shade, improves air quality, diffuses noise pollution and helps to create important wildlife habitats”.

Four volunteers from Natural Wight’s ‘Green Army’, all of whom are residents at Foyer for the Island (which provides accommodation and support for young people on the Isle of Wight), worked together to establish the new tree nursery. Kiefer Drake, Emma Basill, Scott Reynolds and Lucy Rudge spent a day filling raised beds with tonnes of topsoil and planting out the young trees. Known initially as ‘whips’ at this early stage of growth, these trees will be housed at the nursery until they are given their new homes around the Island.

As well as providing a first home for trees, the nursery will also become a small but invaluable resource for future planting, by storing young native saplings rescued from verges or developments, as well as growing young fruit and nut trees for Incredible Edible and other Island projects.

Volunteer Kiefer Drake explained what the experience of creating the tree nursery was like:

“It was pouring with rain when we set off so we were working up to our ankles in mud, but it’s been brilliant to be involved and to see the tree nursery start to take shape”.

The nursery’s first trees were planted out on site by the youngsters on Friday 1st February – two wild service trees.

Spectrum Medina and Natural Enterprise are keen to hear from Isle of Wight residents living near to a street or green space that would benefit from some of the nursery’s trees. Contact suzie.mundell@medinahousing.co.uk or claire.hector@naturalenterprise.co.uk for more information.

Notes to Editor

Photo caption: Suzie Mundell, Kiefer Drake, Scott Reynolds, Lucy Rudge, Emma Basill and Claire Hector alongside the team from Landscape Therapy at the end of a day spent planting the new tree nursery in Ryde.

For more information please contact:

Natural Enterprise
Claire Hector, Project Coordinator
01983 201566 / claire.hector@naturalenterprise.co.uk

Natural Enterprise

Natural Enterprise works to make a positive impact on the Isle of Wight. As a company, we provide a wide range of services, both locally and regionally; from our environmental consultancy service, economic development work, extensive project delivery, through to managing European Funding Programmes.

Our team combines expertise in sustainable development, ecology, climate change adaptation, supporting business, project management, communications with the depth and range of experience to deliver practical solutions for our clients and partners. Natural Enterprise bridges the different perspectives of the public and private sectors, the economy and the environment and similarly, we can draw upon our partners to ensure that in all our work there is a clear focus on delivering the value and requirements for our clients.

Based on the Isle of Wight and as part of the Island 2000 Trust charity, Natural Enterprise’s profits are reinvested for the sole benefit of the Isle of Wight, its communities and countryside. We will continue to make a positive difference to the communities we live and work in, contributing our resource and expertise.

The Big Tree Plant

The main aim of The Big Tree Plant funding scheme is to encourage and support community groups to plant trees in neighbourhoods where people live and work. We want to help improve the quality of life of those living in England’s towns, cities and residential areas by making neighbourhoods more attractive, healthy places to live; especially in areas of greatest deprivation and/or where there is little greenery.

We want to encourage citizens to take responsibility for establishing, protecting and enhancing green spaces in their local area. The Big Tree Plant funding scheme will give £4 million in grants to community groups during the campaign (April 2011 to March 2015). We want this to pay for the planting of at least one million trees in a mixture of small groups of trees in open spaces, other neighbourhood tree planting and some street trees.

About Spectrum Medina

Spectrum Medina, with its headquarters in Newport, Isle of Wight is part of Spectrum Housing Group. Spectrum Medina manages nearly 3,000 homes on the Island including general needs housing for rent, sheltered housing, a leasehold scheme for older people and a Foyer which provides high quality accommodation linked to training and employment access for young adults aged between 16 and 25.

About Spectrum Housing Group

Spectrum Housing Group owns and manages over 18,000 homes throughout the South, South West and Midlands. The Group’s mission is: “To be recognised and respected for providing quality homes and housing services and we will do this by empowering people, supporting active communities and building better futures”.