National Tree Planting Week saw the successful conclusion of what has been a completely new departure for Charvil Parish Council – the development of a geniunely collaborative effort involving Wokingham Borough Council, Charvil Parish Council, local tree experts and most importantly, the residents of Charvil.
What began as a vague possibility over a year ago, has culminated in the planting of the first six trees in the Charvil Community Orchard. Charvil Parish Council first asked the Borough Council if they were happy to support this project on their land, and received positive messages, and then asked the residents, most of whom, have been wonderfully supportive.
So much so, in fact, that many families have volunteered to help in all kinds of ways. Some were keen to dig, others keen to water when the weather turns dry and hot, others want to learn to prune as they grow bigger.
The project would not have been successful, however, if it had not been for the residents who kindly came forward to sponsor the trees: The Hanks family, Sarah Swatridge, Ann-Marie O’Riordan, Dave Blackmore, Nick Ryalls and Steph Parker.
Two people were very keen to know which tree they were sponsoring: Harry Hanks really liked the Strawberry Pippin and has been such an enthusiastic supporter of the project – we hope to see him helping in the Orchard for many years to come. Nick Ryalls has chosen the John Standish, while Ann Marie’s family took a shine to the Beauty of Bath.
We were very fortunate to have a beautiful day for planting, and also for our Local MP, Theresa May, to come to join us for the planting ceremony. She showed a great interest in all of the trees and has wished the project a success as it grows in the future.
We also thank the support of the founders of the Earley Orchards, the Twyford Tree Warden, Steven Loyd, Conserve Reading on Wednesdays (CRoW) and our own Tree Wardens, Barry and Claire Andersen and Sarah Swatridge, all of whom have provided help and expertise along the way.
While planning for the Community Orchard, another project came the Nation’s way, and that was the Queen’s Green Canopy Project to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Mike Heath, one of our newer Councillors, has taken the lead on this, and thanks to his efforts, our lovely orchard volunteers helped to plant 27 silver birches and a small leafed lime at St Patrick’s Recreation Ground.
Another planting session is due to take place at St Patrick’s Recreation Ground in March, when we are due to take delivery of some more native whips – many of which will be used to try to complete the hedge next to the Recreation Ground. If anyone would like to get involved, please contact the clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final tree planting was of an elm kindly donated by Peter Cuss, which has been planted in the East Park Farm Car Park. Only a metre high at the moment, it is hoped this may become the focal point of Charvil’s Green Canopy.
It would be wonderful if this could be the start of something dynamic in Charvil – so rather than being Parish Council led, this all becomes Community led with the Council acting as a safety net. With this in mind, CRoW are coming to the park at The Hawthorns, to spend two mornings clearing some of the overgrown bushes and brambles, and generally helping to make the area more biodiverse and healthy.
If anyone is interested, these sessions are taking place on Wednesday 26th Jan and Wednesday 23rd March at 10am to 2.30 pm. Tools will be provided, as will light refreshments, but please bring some lunch. For further information, please contact the clerk at email@example.com.