On Thursday the 1st of December the Templemanor / Wilkins Residents Association and The Stepping Stone Forest Group with the help of local volunteers planted a mini woodland in Greenhills Park, Cllr Lyn Hagin Meade on behalf of the Mayor of SDCC said “I am honoured to welcome you all here today for the planting of this mini woodland in Greenhills Park, this project is a collaboration between SDCC, the Steppingstone Forest Group and Templemanor / Wilkins Residents Association. It is wonderful to see all of the various volunteer groups here who are all committed to improving our local environment. This is the type of direct community environmental action that is needed if we are to address the major problems of Climate Change and biodiversity loss affecting our entire planet.
This method grows mature native forests 10 times faster and 20 times more biodiverse than conventional plantations and without the use of chemicals or fertilisers. The method relies on ground preparation, planting density and species diversity. The site is first covered with cardboard and mulch which kills off the grass and starts a process of decomposition carried out by earthworms and a variety of insects and fungi. The mulch that was applied earlier this year by volunteers has already created the growing conditions necessary to provide all the nutrients for a rapidly growing woodland. High planting density creates undersoil co-operation and above soil competition. By planting native trees very close together the underground root network, “the wood wide web” establishes quickly. Above ground, the trees stretch up faster as they are competing with each other for light. The diverse selection of native trees means the soil is enriched by a “diverse diet” enhancing the health of the root network and spurring the growth of the trees”.