Planting trees will leave a fine legacy

Lord Lieutenant Sarah Troughton with Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones planting a tree to commemorate the Queen’s jubilee at Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service headquarters in 2012

John Neale, front, founder of Wiltshire Tree People, with members in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral

Planting a tree to commemorate the birth of Prince George at The Green, Devizes,

First published in News

A LITTLE-known organisation in Wiltshire has been doing its bit to enhance the environment by planting trees.

Since it was founded 15 years ago, Wiltshire Tree People has planted hundreds, if not thousands, of trees.

It was founded by Bishop John Neale, of Corsham and a former Bishop of Ramsbury.

It is not a charity, is non-profit making and its 45 members make donations.

Chairman Sir Thomas Morison, who lives near Devizes, has been a member since 1999. The president is Lord Lansdowne of Bowood House Sir Thomas said: “I think it’s a remarkable organisation. We have practically no expenses and our administration is efficient and negligible. We are an informal and small organisation and what we do is terribly beneficial to the environment.”

The vast majority of the trees planted by Wiltshire Tree People are in the county. About a year ago it made a donation for a nursery to be planted in Rwanda.

It was particularly active in 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and gave a donation to enable between 400 and 500 trees to be planted at Great Chalfield Manor near Melksham. It planted a tree in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral and in the grounds of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Potterne.

Excluding the trees at Great Chalfield Manor, it planted 40 trees during the Diamond Jubilee years including at a number of schools.

Sir Thomas said: “We chose schools because we want children to be interested in trees and that they will look after and water their tree.”

Wiltshire Tree People have planted different species including oak, elm and fruit trees.

The latest tree planting was of a hornbeam on The Green in Devizes in November to commemorate the birth of Prince George.

Sir Thomas said: “Trees are important because they absorb excess carbon. They are good for the environment, they are pretty and there is something everlasting about them; they don’t last forever but by planting one you are doing something for the next generation rather than for yourself. That is, I think, satisfactory.”

Wiltshire Tree People would like new members to join and for more information, visit www.wiltshiretreepeople.com or ring J Rowell on (01249) 701350.

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