Tree Project

Tree Planting

January 25th saw the first phase of the long awaited tree planting project. Dozens of trees of various species including walnut were planted in Walnut Tree Field. FPT Committee members and Farmor's School pupils came along to help Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way.

The second phase to follow later.

A small ceremony for those who donated money will be held later on in the Spring.

Picture: Phil Trickett, Committee member getting his spade dirty.

Sponsor a Tree!

Unfortunately the FPT's grant application to the Tree Council was not successful. The Tree Council wanted a larger number of cheaper trees, space for which is simply not available in Fairford.

However the Project is going ahead and some trees will be planted during the winter of 2013-14.

It will cost about £45 per tree for the initial cost, planting, protection and after care. If you would like to sponsor a tree please contact

Where have all the trees gone?

Mulberry East End

Living as we do in a picturesque area we tend to think that our delightful countryside is framed by a wide variety of trees that add colour and form to our landscape. It may astonish readers to learn that England has fewer trees than nearly all European countries (The tree cover/land area ratio for England is 8.6% whereas the average for the EU is 37% and for Europe as a whole 44%). There are historic reasons for this as shipbuilding and, later, the industrial revolution accounted for large areas of native and historic woodland. The seemingly inexorable demands of land for development have reduced stocks even further.

In an attempt to redress this decline, the Government launched a fund, The Big Tree Plant, which aims to help communities develop planting schemes. £4 million has been set aside to support approved schemes.

Why do trees matter?

Mulberry East End

Trees help to provide us with a healthier environment. They produce oxygen and take in carbon dioxide as they grow and store the carbon in their wood thus helping to reduce the effects of global warming. Trees filter otherwise harmful wastes with their extensive root systems. They can either store harmful pollutants or render them less harmful. They can clean roadside spills and clean storm water run off hence reducing the likelihood of flash flooding. Underground water-holding aquifers are recharged with this slow down of water run off.

Trees can provide shade and help cool the air around them and can provide useful windbreaks to protect properties and crops. Trees can bring out the best in an area's local character. They provide a sense of place and establish a living link with the past, the present and the future. They soften the hard edges of built up areas, making them greener, more attractive and welcoming.

What can we do?

Mulberry East End

Following an enthusiastic talk given by Jon Stokes of The Tree Council the Fairford Preservation Trust decided to make an application to The Big Tree Plant. The idea is to provide a number of ornamental street trees in and around Fairford and to increase the planting in the Walnut Tree field and in the Meadow. Helpful contacts have been established with the Town Council, the Ernest Cook Trust and the county Highway Authority.

The success of a large scheme like this will depend on the level of community support and on the quality of the aftercare we will be able to provide. If anybody would like to be involved in the planning, planting or in the aftercare programme please contact the Fairford Preservation Trust. Of course, if anyone would like to help fund the project then that would be an excellent way to add to the funds we have already raised.

We aim to have our application ready for the August grant committee meeting with a view to planting in November/December.

Greg Phillips

FPT Committee member

Pictures: Fairford's most famous tree: Black Mulberry at East End, thought to be over 400-years old and one of King James 1st's Mulberries. Courtesy of Margaret Bishop.