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Planting of new trees has taken place at four locations across Stevenage, thanks to Stevenage Borough Council.

Tree saplings – donated by Wates Living Space – were planted by Green Space Volunteers to extend the Memorial Wood in Fairlands Valley Park. .

In 2014, an acre of new woodland was created to commemorate the centenary of the start of WWI. An additional acre has now been planted, which will provide a lasting legacy to residents who served our country in either world wars, or more recently helping others during the pandemic – such as NHS staff, carers, and teachers.

Wates Living Space is currently working on behalf of the council to deliver a major investment programme to flat blocks across the town. As part of these works, Wates is also providing additional community benefits, including their support of the Memorial Wood.

In Bandley Hill, 12 fruit trees were planted to create a community orchard within the Donkey Park on Featherston Road on Tuesday 16 March. Shephall ward Councillors, Councillor Michelle Gardner, Councillor Joan Lloyd and Councillor Adrian Brown provided £3,000 for the purchase and maintenance of apple, pear and cherry trees. Councillor Joan Lloyd was unable to attend the planting as she is currently shielding.

Twelve fruit trees were also planted to create a second community orchard at Hampson Park. The trees were planted by Friends of Hampson Park, and the £3,000 project was funded by Pin Green ward Councillors, Councillor Jeannette Thomas, Councillor Lin Martin Haugh and Councillor Simon Speller.

A third community orchard was planted in St Nicholas, in the open space at Wellfield. This project was funded by ward councillors, Councillor Sandra Barr, Councillor Richard Henry and Councillor Claire Parris.

The community orchards will provide fresh fruit for local residents in the future, and as the trees mature, will also provide a haven for a range of wildlife.

Councillor John Gardner, Executive Member for Environment and Regeneration, said: “It’s fantastic news we’ve been able to plant new trees at locations across the town, and I’d like to thank our Green Space Volunteers and Friends of Hampson Park for planting the trees, and Wates and all nine borough Councillors for helping to fund the projects.

“The trees planted at Memorial Wood honour the everyday heroes the pandemic has highlighted over the past 12 months, and will serve as a reminder of their heroic actions for many years to come.

“The three new community orchards bring the total number in Stevenage to four, and each orchard goes some way in improving the environment whilst also providing locally sourced fruit to residents.”

The fourth community orchard – planted in March 2020 – is located in Symonds Green. All government guidelines around Covid-19 were adhered to during planting.


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