NETTLESTONE and Seaview Community Partnership Tree Planting Project 2020 got underway last week when volunteers planted 85 tree ‘whips’ — with more to follow over the coming days.

Back in January, when lockdown was still the stuff of science fiction, the partnership applied for a Woodland Trust Community Tree Grant.

Permissions and assents were given to plant in various areas throughout the parish, and in November the partnership received a ‘wildlife’ pack of 105 native saplings.

Grown from seed sourced in UK and Ireland, the mix of Oak, Silver Birch, Rowan, Hazel, Blackthorn and Hawthorn will increase biodiversity, habitat and food sources for wildlife.

Isle of Wight County Press: Left: Val and Dave Drury, right: Maribelle Glover and Nigel PidgeonLeft: Val and Dave Drury, right: Maribelle Glover and Nigel Pidgeon

So far, 40 volunteers, working one person/household/bubble at a time, have planted 38 trees at Hersey Nature Reserve and a further 47 on Sophie Watson Gardens in Seaview.

Trees planted on the reserve will replace non-indigenous species felled over the years and those in Sophie Watson Gardens will be a living memorial to the servicemen lost during the first World War.

The project will be registered with BBC Countryfile Plant Britain project and photos of all volunteers uploaded to their website.