Brighton Permaculture Trust’s Community orchard development lead Jenni Cresswell spent a day planting trees with Paxton Access volunteers at Bevendean Recreation Ground. The day was centred around planting elms trees that will provide all of the many benefits associated with increased biodiversity such as habitats, carbon storage and natural beauty.
Jenni sat down with the volunteers to find out about the experience…
Interview 1: Paxton employee and his 3 kids.
Jenni: So we are here planting this lovely elm tree right now so what has the day been like?
Family: Yeh, it’s been fantastic.
J: What have you enjoyed the most?
F: Digging the hole (boy)! Emily (girl): I liked it all! Dad: It’s the whole process! From a hole in the ground to this tree here that will be here for 100s of years. By the time the tree is the kids’ age, it still won’t even be full height so it’s really just an amazing process to be involved with.
J: What stands out in terms of learning?
F: Using the tube to water the tree. And the importance of using disease-resistant elms.
J: Yes, for me, when I first started planting with Brighton Permaculture Trust I was surprised with the mound planting method – this is done to allow the roots access to the topsoil which is dense in nutrients. It also allows you to better control the soil quality!
Interview 2: Kate, Paxton Access volunteer coordinator
Jenni: How is the volunteering going?
Kate: It’s going great. We are nearly done with our first 10 elm trees and it’s all looking good.
J: What’s been special about today?
K: Doing something for our local community is really important to us here at Paxton so having a nice group of us here means that we can impact the local community in a positive way. It’s also great for the environment so we are really happy to be involved!
J: What have you learned about tree planting today?
K: Everything really! From digging out the hole to checking that the ground is good. The importance of the watering tubes. With these trees being so young, we won’t see them mature for many years but that is the whole point. Its about the future and being altruistic.
Interview 3: A Brighton Permaculture Volunteer
Jenni: So what do you think of today?
Volunteer: Yeah, I had a really great time. It was nice to get outside, do something for the community and also help regenerate nature and our much-needed community spaces.
J: Nice. And what do you think you learned today about tree planting? Was there something surprising that you learned? It takes a lot longer than you think!
V: I definitely learned that it’s a science to plant a tree, so we should all take care of them!
J: Oh, that’s really nice. Is there anything in particular that you liked about how the day is structured?
V: It was very hands-on and practical. There was plenty of guidance. You got instructions, but otherwise, you just got digging, which was fun!
J: Thanks so much for your hard work!