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Sark Watch, were hard at work planting trees by the Island Hall as part of a mass tree-planting project on Sark on Saturday 12th March, part of an on-going collaboration between the Sark Community Blooms group and Guernsey Trees for Life. Trees were planted at eight locations including the Collinette, Valette, Dos Dane and on Little Sark. The event was organised by resident gardener and tree expert Lazlo who works at the Seigneurie Gardens as well as being a freelance tree surgeon. Several hundred trees were planted and all are natives including hawthorn, crab apple and spindle. The timing couldn’t be better as a dozen or so trees were brought down during the gale on Wednesday and several others will need to be felled after being damaged in the gusts that reached over eighty miles an hour.

It was a good turn out with for Sark Watch with Mrs Cottle and Rob Cottle [as the expert as he works at the Seigneurie Gardens] together with Rosie and Gemma, Esmee, Ruairi, Nathan, Finn, Georgia, Phoebe, Katrina, Katie, Cerys and Harry, later joined by Mali and our youngest Sark watcher, three year old Robin with her mum, Estelle.

 

Meeting at the Visitor’s Centre

Once we had been given our instructions we set off for the Millennium Field where our trees were to be planted.

The first four, two common spindle trees and two rowan trees were to be planted near to the memorial oak on the edge of the field, we then had four trees to fill gaps by the roadside on the far side of the field and two willows to plant on the bank behind school.

Rob did an excellent job of teaching us how to plant trees.

  • Plan where to plant, including distances between trees using canes to mark
  • Cut a square of turf and lay aside
  • Dig the hole
  • Make sure the soil is loose so that the roots can grow
  • Plant the tree, using soil dug out to refill the hole
  • Place the stick to support the tree and protect with a plastic cover
  • Water in well
  • Place the black membrane over and secure in place to reduce weed growth

We struggled a bit with the large number of stones which made digging difficult and we tried to rescue as many worms as possible. We also found a leatherjacket which didn’t seem happy to be disturbed.

Digging the holes and Nathan getting stones out by hand

Phoebe with the first tree planted

  

Rob, Ruairi and Katrina working hard

 

The whole job took just over an hour and a half and we are now going to keep our fingers crossed for some calm weather while the roots get established and keep an eye on our trees to see how they get on in the coming months.

   

The first four trees, two common spindles and two rowans, are planted

  

Planting the willow trees on the bank behind the school.