50 Trees Planted in Gillingham
On the 15th and 16th November an avenue of trees was planted on the public open space at Lower Lodden and Ham Farm. A total of 50 trees were planted – 20 Common Oak and 30 Popular – by the town council’s grounds staff and volunteers. The trees have already made a big impact on the public open space and will be an attractive feature in the landscape for many years to come.
In mediaeval times, Gillingham’s Royal Forest was a favoured hunting area and its quality timbers were used in Royal palaces and for ship building. Deforestation continued as the town grew. Nationally, there is concern that without successive tree planting there will be a generation gap of mature trees.
The avenue of trees that has been planted at Upper Lodden (off King John Road), Lower Lodden (to the rear of Addison Close and Lodden View) and Ham Farm (off Chaffinch Chase and Wren Place), fall within the boundary of the Gillingham Royal Forest and will serve as a living heritage feature and a valuable amenity asset: helping to purifying the air we breathe, providing a wildlife habitat and soaking up excess surface water.
The Mayor, Cllr Mrs Belinda Ridout was particularly enthusiastic about the project and commented that “the tree planting coincides with the commemoration of the end of WWI, so the trees will be a remembrance to all the local people who lost their lives in the Great War”.
The project has been funded using developer money set aside to maintain and improve our public open spaces. The town council is very appreciative of the financial contribution it received from Co-operative Funeralcare, to Mark Jackson of Merck Limited (Sigma-Aldrich) for releasing staff to help with the planting and to all the other volunteers who willingly gave up their time to help on the day, without which the trees could not have been planted so quickly and efficiently.
Employees from Merck using their community time to help with tree planting. Left to Right: Alex Chase, Laura Kimber and Oli Martin.