Creating a woodland at HoneyTree
In March 2018, as part of our commitment to sustainability, we planted over 950 trees. Native varieties include Rosewood, Dogwood Ash and Beech.
This wonderful initiative is part of the Centenary Sainsbury’s MOREwoods to commemorate the First World War. ‘Make Thank you last for ever. Those who made sacrifices in the First World War did so to secure a brighter future for the next generation. We’re saying thank you by planting more than a million trees in four Centenary Woods across the UK, creating beautiful life-giving places for the next generation’.
The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom concerned with the creation, protection, and restoration of native woodland heritage. As our chosen charity for 2018, 20p per Christmas card goes toward their goal of planting trees, protecting woods and inspiring people to enjoy the nature on their doorstep.
Sebastian’s tale: The studios are located on our farm. This bucolic location has been home to HoneyTree almost since the beginning in 2009 and the connection for us and our team with the rolling Somerset hills, cows, pheasants, foxes and mud combined with lunches and meetings in the veg patch on sunny days, ensure we are in touch with the outdoors.
Directly behind the studios are two large fields that lie empty. I spoke to our neighbour Martin (an actual farmer) in late 2017 just before my 50th Birthday and mentioned that we would love to plant trees and how should we go about it? He is a dairy farmer that supplies Sainsburys and was raving about the MOREwoods initiative. I was on the phone straight away and after filling in the location of our fields, a lovely lady from the Woodland Trust visited, with her springer spaniel and inspected the fields.
We received confirmation within a month and the stipulation was we had to plant before November 11th 2018 to comply with the ‘Thank you’ commemoration of the Armistice day 100yrs. A date of March 2018 was agreed and friends and family contributed to the tree purchases for my 50th birthday present. Christmas was spent thinking about our Woodland plans and the footpaths we would provide for ramblers and dog walkers.
Needless to say, Lizbeth got creative with the layout of the planting, the larger field is laid out in a George cross while the smaller field has an area in the middle that will house a sculpture. She also designed the 2018 Christmas cards around a woodland theme, but it will be a couple of decades before what she drew represents our woodland!
The Woodland Trust state that in year one we could lose up to 10% of the planting (they come back 12 months later and replace the poorly ones as part of the scheme). I think in our case it could be a bit more as the week of planting was in the snow.. Then we had THE summer of 2018, but from my daily inspection as I walk the dogs all is looking promising.
Lastly, we get to dedicate each field to a family member or local person who was involved in WW1, this is still ongoing as both Lizbeth are looking into our family histories as well as working with local historians in the North Wootton, Wells area.
From always wanting to plant a woodland and now with the help of the scheme we also have the opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ to all who sacrificed and supported in WWI, this initiative has been an absolute delight.
lest we forget