Being in marketing I don’t get out much and in current times, even less so it seems (I know, get the violins out). So, it really was a welcome escape from my computer screen to be invited to attend a tree planting event arranged by Rosliston Forestry Centre in South Derbyshire. It was not only a great opportunity to see some of the trees Arcus donated through our ‘Grow with Us’ initiative being planted, but also to get my hands dirty and have a go at getting a few in the ground myself.
I arrived at Rosliston to find a good covering of frost about the place and it was more than a bit chilly out (hence the Arctic explorer look I was sporting). All was well though, as I got a very warm welcome from the team headed up by Kate Allies, Environmental Engagement Manager at South Derbyshire District Council. Immediately I was put to work carrying some of the ‘Grow with Arcus’ Alder Buckthorn saplings down to the planting site.
Kate and her team were going to be planting the trees we donated plus some others they had sourced to create a Jubilee hedge to commemorate the Queen’s platinum jubilee in 2022. I was attending the first of 4 events being held inviting volunteers/members of the public to come and plant a tree/trees that would form part of the Jubilee hedge at Rosliston. The theory being that by the time the Jubilee is celebrated at the end of May the start of an established natural barrier would be in place.
I learned from Kate that the Alder Buckthorn saplings that we had donated were particularly important to provide a home for the larvae of Brimstone Butterflies who feed on the leaves of the Alder Buckthorn. I felt really honoured to be a small part of building this special habitat. It also would have the added benefit of making the site look more attractive, screening the wire fence behind it.
First thing first, I had never planted a tree, so I had to learn how to do that in the correct way. How to handle the saplings and put them in the ground to ensure they got the best chance of survival. Fortunately, Andy was on hand to give me expert guidance. I learned Andy had been a primary school teacher before his job at Rosliston, which was great news for me, as his instruction was at just the right level to enable me to confidently continue planting on my own.
I selected my weapon (spade!) of choice and off I went to put my section of the Jubilee Hedge at Rosliston in place. It was a bit harder than Andy made it look as the ground was quite stony with quite a few old roots. However, I persevered and ended up planting a good number of saplings to form the first section of the hedge. I certainly got a good workout and felt a sense of achievement as I looked back at what I had accomplished during the morning.
Whilst I was busy planting, I was joined by a steady stream of members of the local community coming along to plant a tree. Some spent the whole morning there, others just popped in to plant a sapling. Some were planted in memory of a loved one, others by parents with young children who could watch them grow as they were growing. The local Councillor even came along and planted a few. I was also delighted to find that I (and everyone else that came to plant a tree for the Jubilee) would be rewarded with a special commemorative badge.
Visiting Rosliston really was a grand day out and reinforces the power of getting outdoors, into our green spaces and doing something active. I definitely feel reinvigorated sitting at my computer today. I am really proud that Arcus Global gives back to the Local Authorities we work with through the ‘Grow with Us’ initiative. I have got to see first hand how it really does enrich local community spaces for citizens, visitors and wildlife to thrive.
If you haven’t claimed your annual allocation of 100 free saplings do get in touch with us – firstname.lastname@example.org