As exceptionally dry conditions continue this summer in Ruddington, and another spell of unusually hot weather sets in, a Ruddington ‘Tree Warden’ is highlighting the plight of many trees recently planted around our village.
With various schemes available for residents and groups to carry out tree planting in both public and private spaces, usually with the trees provided for free, Ruddington nature lover Geoff East is highlighting the fact that we can’t just stop there!
“Saplings and young trees need to be watered during the drought conditions we are experiencing” advises Geoff. “The natural world is valuable in its own right and under threat. As we respond to the nature and the climate crisis, trees are central to efforts limiting the worst impacts and we should ensure we look after these wonders. By planting trees locally, we help improve the local air, help capture carbon dioxide, provide ecosystems for local wildlife and much more.”
Of course, as previously reported, this year we were all encouraged to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ to add to the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’. Ruddington Parish Council‘s Planters Group also has a long running programme to plant new trees, cultivated plants and wild flowers to give us all a greener and healthier environment in which to live. “The group planted some saplings late last winter and residents have also planted some in our parks and green spaces. I have been unable to get out and about to see all the saplings we have in the village, but I was shocked to see how neglected some are. We all need to take some responsibility and control of our environment!” warns Geoff.
So what can we do? “I would urge dog walkers, mums and dads with their children, exercise takers and other local residents to look out for saplings that are obviously suffering from this lack of water” says Geoff. “In particular, residents whose houses back onto the Churchill Open Space, or are nearby. Take a watering can into the space and give the saplings a good drink. Use waste water if you can. I have tied them and replanted a couple, so hopefully we can save most of them, but they need regular watering if they are to survive.”
He adds: “I noticed there are a couple of saplings planted in the Lings Crescent Play Park so again, please pop in with a can of water. There are also a number of saplings in the Vicarage Lane park and within the cemetery, which also need watering regularly in this hot weather. I water the ones in the far corner of the park, but again, if you think they need a drink and you can help – please do!”
Geoff suggests local communities could get together whilst the drought lasts for each household to ‘Adopt a Tree’ – and take responsibility for its survival. This includes on a couple of Ruddington’s new build housing estates – where it’s become clear the original planting by the developers’ landscapers has not been followed up by sufficient watering.
Geoff, who also co-ordinates events for The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, says it’s not just Ruddington’s young trees which are under threat: “Our poor hedgehogs are also suffering, so please put out drinking water for them” he asks. “In addition, you can easily help the survival of these enigmatic creatures by making a small hole in your garden fence (even through concrete) so they have access to your back gardens at night. Hedgehogs are a thrill to see and their numbers are at a critical level, so the more we can do for them, the better their survival chances. They will do a great job in feeding off your slugs and various invertebrates, so it is a win-win situation! All our wild creatures need water so, whilst you are helping hedgehogs, please don’t forget about our feathered friends.”
Geoff East’s cry for help comes as Rushcliffe’s ‘Free Tree Scheme’ continues to accept applications from Ruddington residents. You can find out more >>HERE<< and still have until 30th September 2022 to apply.