Published: Monday, 24th February 2020
Young and old descended to land on the outskirts of King's Lynn at the weekend as families and residents united to plant 500 trees to create new woodland.
Some 150 people picked up a spade on Saturday to join The Big Plant 2020, which was organised by Churches Together in King’s Lynn and supported by the borough council in providing the land at King's Reach in Fairstead, helping with the planting and will continue with the ongoing maintenance of the new woodland off Anthony Nolan Road.
The West Norfolk Trees of Hope initiative, also being supported by the Woodland Trust, hopes to encourage large-scale tree planting as a natural way to remove carbon from the atmosphere and reduce global warming.
Rev Dan Tansey, from the Church in the Woottons, said: "There was a great mix of people of all ages, many of whom lived in the Fairstead and King's Reach areas. Lots of families with small children turned up and talked about how they looked forward to coming back in years to come to see their trees matured.
"The sense of goodwill was wonderful and the mood all day was cheerful and fun, despite the wind and rain doing it's best to blast us away at times. It was just fantastic to see so many trees planted in such a short amount of time, which goes to show what we can do when we all muck-in together.
"That was what made it a really special day, the sense of joy at the community in King's Lynn getting together to do something really positive and fun. The team from the borough council were also really helpful and friendly throughout; lending an air of professionalism to the event."
Mr Tansey also thanked volunteers from St Faith's Church in Gaywood who served hot drinks and cakes through the Big Plant 2020.
He added: "This was always intended to be a launch event for an ongoing programme of tree planting across the region, and we couldn't have wished for a better start.
"The next step is to start planning the next Big Plant in November this year, as well as other smaller projects on an ongoing basis.
"We really hope people will pick up on the concept in other parts of Norfolk and the country. We'd love to share our experiences with others who want to get something like this off the ground."
Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “I’m delighted by the support we have received for this project, despite the atrocious weather.
“It’s great that others acknowledge the need to plant trees which is also high on our agenda. We will take on the management of this new woodland and hope to continue to engage the local community in its guardianship.”
More information about upcoming projects can be found on the West Norfolk Trees of Hope Facebook page.