Suffolk Wildlife Trust – tree planting

A team of keen Barker Gotelee volunteers took a morning out of the office earlier this month to assist Suffolk’s nature charity, Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT), planting trees and re-establishing scrub habitat on farmland in Baylham on the banks of the River Gipping. The team, which was also accompanied by officers from the Environment Agency, planted an estimated 50 trees including alder, oak, great willow, dog wood, spindle and blackthorn. The scrub (spindle, blackthorn and dog wood) assists in stabilising river banks, providing shade for the water keeping it cool in the summer months and creating habitat for water vole, otter (both protected species) and other inhabitants of the river banks.

Penny Hemphill, the SWT’s conservation adviser on water for wildlife, led the group with enthusiasm and patience. As well as demonstrating methods of how to plant a tree Penny also gave detailed information to the team about the benefits of planting trees and scrub in river locations. Our environmental law specialist, Jane Haviland said, “We had a wonderful morning, the weather was kind too. We were expertly taught how to plant trees, using mulch mats to protect from weed growth and stakes to support the saplings in higher winds. We also benefited from getting a more robust understanding of the scope, breadth and importance of the work undertaken by the SWT. It was a privilege to be involved and we were well rewarded with coffee and cake at the end of the morning.”

Suffolk’s nature charity, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, was formed in 1961 and has become Suffolk’s most dynamic and effective conservation organisation. The charity organises a range of activities to support the local environment, including management of nature reserves, running conservation work parties and operating education and visitor centres. To find out more visit