Spreading the lurrve for trees this Valentine’s Day

Tree lovers, incurable romantics and nature lovers are being invited to get mucky on Valentine’s Day… planting trees.

The first of 12,000 new trees to be planted in the city’s new country park will go into the ground as hedgerows, as the city’s new country park starts to take shape.

Plymouth City Council, together with Plymouth Environmental Action, is running the event this Sunday 14 February at Poole Farm as part of the first wave of projects to create the 140-hectare park which will open up the beautiful Forder, Seaton and Bircham Valley.

Councillor Brian Vincent, Cabinet member for Streetscene said: “We want to spread the love to nature and wildlife by helping to plant a new hedgerow. These trees will play a crucial role in helping the city’s environment, capturing more rainfall and creating oxygen as well as becoming habitats for our wildlife.”

Plans for a park have been in the pipeline since 2008 when local people were asked what they would like to see within the proposed park. Last year the Council announced it was in partnership with Duchy College, as part of The Cornwall College Group, to create an ‘environmental education hub’ in the 140-hectare community park.

As well as running Poole Farm, the hub will have a campus offering courses including horticulture, countryside management and animal care. Other plans include over 15 kilometres of new footpaths and cycle routes; new habitats, community garden and orchard for growing food for the farm shop and café.

Councillor Vincent said: “Our apprentice countryside manager Willow has done a fantastic job of drawing up a management plan for the site to identify tasks for the next five years to help wildlife.”

The Council has also started work with Duchy College to manage the site with a small herd of cattle coming to graze the grassland areas. In the next few weeks a new apprentice farm manager will be employed in time to see cattle move onto site, as well as beehives installed.

Plymouth Environmental Action have been helping with hedgerow management and in November and December the group removed very old fences, brambles and other scrub species ready for the hedge to be planted.

Derriford has been earmarked as one of the main growth areas for Plymouth with a new district centre, housing and employment proposed to be built over the next twenty years.

Persimmon Homes have nearly completed the first phase of their development at Palmerston Heights Heights, Seaton to build 105 houses and will shortly submit their application for the second phase to build 125 new homes.

The new £6.3 million St Matthew’s Church of England primary school opened last September and there are now over 100 pupils at the school, which will eventually provide 630 places.

Plans are also progressing on the new link road between Forder Valley and Brest Road, creating a new route between Derriford and the A38 and creating vital extra capacity on the road network.

The Forder Valley Link Road will provide better access from the east, reduce pressure on Manadon roundabout and complement other transport improvements being made in the north of the city. Once complete, it will also offer a faster route to Derriford Hospital.

A mini bus will pick up volunteers at Bretonside Bus station at 9.30am. Tools, refreshments and toilet and hand washing facilities are provide. All people need to do is wear suitable clothing to work outside and a packed lunch.
Email: derrifordcp@plymouth.gov.uk for more information and to book a place