Friends of Allestree Park

Allestree Park in Derby, England

Allestree Park Tree O'clock Event, Saturday 5th December, 2009

tree o'clock - 2

Allestree Park Tree O’clock Event, Saturday 5th December, 2009

This event to plant trees at the northern end of Big Wood was part of the national ‘Tree 0’Clock’ event, promoted by the Breathing spaces Initiative of the B.B.C.

This comprised two separate record bids – an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most trees planted in 1 hour in one location; the other to plant as many trees in the hour across the whole country. The latter was obviously the result of all the separate local plantings, like ours, added together. As it happens, our local bid wasn't a world-beater, nor was the combined national effort - but everyone who took part at Allestree can feel proud of themselves as the main purpose was to improve Big Wood for nature conservation - and this was certainly achielved.
The local event in Allestree Park was organised by WildDerby of Derby City Council, with Local groups, including the Friends of Alletree Park participating and members of the public invited to come along to take part.

Following the management plan for the Park, the Friends of Allestree Park had instigated, through Derby City Council’s Parks Department,  a project to clear alien sycamore and rhododendron from the woods to be followed with replanting with native tree and shrub species. The process was begun during January 2008, when staff students of an environmental course at Broomfield College began clearing sycamore from the northern part of the wood, a process which is ongoing during the winter.

A substantial area of the northern part of the wood had therefore become available for replanting during 2008 and it was thought a suitable site for the Tree O’clock event.
Tree O' Clock
On Friday 4th December, the day before the Tree O’clock event, members of the Friends of Allestree Park joined with some of the staff of the Parks Department to mark out the planting are with tape, into ten separate areas destined to take 100 trees each and placed pegs in three of the marked out areas, set aside for less experienced planters
On the actual 159 people turned up and they managed to plant over 1000 trees, including pedunculate oak, rowan, crab apple, oak, hazel and holly, between  11am and 12 noon.  As it happened, however, all the trees were planted in 24 minutes, followed by a session putting on rabbit guards.  Fortunately the weather remained dry and bright during the event.

The WildDerby project took a lead on the organisation of the event, produced direction signs and the risk assessment, the link to Breathing Places and ensured that  full staff cover was secured. WildDerby funds were used to provide refreshments, the celebration cake and tree guards.

Beverley Rhodes of Wild Derby  has thanked the following organisations who took part in the event:

Derby City Parks Department for staff cover from the management team and rangers, tools, tables, trees and vehicular transport, looking after car parking on Woodlands Lane, the tree planting demonstration and clearing the site at the end.

BTCV, who provided some additional tools, all of which were used on the day.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust for more tools, gazebos, staff, help at reception, transport in muddy conditions and providing volunteers. Their event media contacts were particularly well taken up and links to members were very very important. They provided additional information and activities for children, all of which added substantially to the event and they lead the one of the planting teams.
The Friends of Allestree Park for the photography and providing an exhibition., helping to prepare the planting site, gaining two local witnesses, helping visitors get over the golf course from the A6 car park safely and helping with publicity for the event.

The Allestree Park Golf Club, for their support of the activity..

A particular thank you goes to Margaret who with Jean stayed at reception and with great efficiency took names, gave badges, cut cake, handed out free trees and allowed everyone to feel they had taken part in Tree O’clock.
Friends of Sinfin Moor Park LNR for their tea bar. In their usual style it was particularly very well organised and I also thank them for allowing Jean to help at reception. We must also thank the local church for the tea pots! Finally thanks must go to Colin and his whistle.
Community Action deserve a huge thank you for coming along with a team. Heading up the “Top Lot” they demonstrated planting helped planting and slotted into the mayhem with great ease. We hope that their first outing with the WildDerby partnership has been memorable and enjoyable.
The media coverage for the event was very good, including BBC Derby reports before, during (using the radio car) and after the day. The two- page evening Telegraph report, following a few adverts about the event, was unexpected. The number of people who came was a credit to their efforts on our behalf.  

A huge thank you to Helen Sykes for linking through to Breathing Places / Tree O’clock and all the freebies provided for us.
A particular thank you goes to Councillor Roy Web and Councillor Saadia Davies for taking on the roles of Independent Witnesses. They took a responsible role on our behalf and, fittingl,  cut the celebration cake.

We thank everyone who turned up and hope they came away with a sense of achievement.

We all,  of course, look forward to the spring and seeing the green shoots put out by the trees.
More planting remains to be done in the following years.
Text by Bill Grange, Friends of Allestree Park
Photos  by  Steve Plant


Tuesday, July 17, 2018