reLEAF – a project update

You may have noticed that there are lots of new trees springing up around Haddenham. This is thanks to a group of volunteers from reLEAF – a joint project between Zero Carbon Haddenham www.zeroch.org and Haddenham Parish Council.

What has the reLEAF team been up to since the project launched in 2020?  

We have planted approximately 230 trees and over 1500 hedging plants, in various locations around the village. We have assisted the Parish Council to get funding for trees in Woodways Park and facilitated the planting of street trees by Buckinghamshire Council.

The plants can be seen in the following locations:

  • 30 young trees around Sheer stock, including 5 fruit trees which are tucked away next to the footpath that runs down the side of the Rectory Homes Office, and 6 trees in the children’s play area, also accessed from Station Road, and street trees planted by Buckinghamshire Council
  •  2 fruit trees in Longwall
  • 42 mature trees and approximately 12 large shrubs around the Woodways park
  • Further mature street trees, which are scattered around the village, mostly at road junctions.  
  • Approximately 115 trees on the new Tibbs Road sports field, including 30 flowering cherry trees, 20 fruit trees and trees grown in the reLEAF nursery such as rowans, walnuts, bird cherries, horse chestnuts and silver birch. Also 1450 hedge plants, a mixture of roses, cherries, hawthorn, and black beam
  • 50 hedge plants on the footpath beside the Gables from Church way to the Grove
  • 2 pear trees and various trees grown in the reLEAF nursery on the land between the railway line and Spitfire Path – by permission of the development management company.

How has the planting been achieved?

Funding has come from various grants and donations, which included:

  • a grant from central Government for Buckinghamshire Council to plant street trees
  • a grant from the Heart of Bucks* for the planting at the Tibbs Road sports field
  • funding from the Haddenham Beer Festival Trust for the purchase of our trailer and water tank
  • free hedging plants from the Woodland Trust
  • flowering Cherry trees provided at cost price by Haddenham Garden centre
  • generous donations by individuals and fundraising activities, such as the sale of beautiful greetings cards with pressed leaves

Thank you also to Jonny Phillis the Baptish Church minister who not only stepped in and offered us space for our tree nursery in the church grounds but also help to water the young saplings during the hottest months of the year.

Our thanks also to Haddenham Parish Council, especially Sue Gilbert, and more recently Ian Final, whose support is enabling reLEAF to plant throughout the village. Where reLEAF has planted on Parish Council owned land the Parish Council then takes on the ongoing maintenance.

We would also like to thank the team at McCormick who often join us.

And of course, a special thanks to all of our many volunteers who come along to planting sessions.

Fancy joining us?

Despite all the achievements so far – we still have big ambitions, and we can’t do it without you.

We are a small friendly group and always happy to meet interested people. Come and chat with us in the village hall at Cafe Zero which takes place every 1st Saturday in the month alongside the Repair Café and the farmer’s market.  It’s not necessary to wield a spade and plant a tree, there’s lots of other ways you can get involved:

  • Identifying potential places where we can plant around the village.
  • Basic admin, such as taking minutes or helping with communications, publicity or fund raising, mapping the tree locations.
  • Help with watering and caring for young trees or join us on a potting up session at the tree nursery!

So, what’s next?

The next tree planting season (October to March), when we hope to continue planting along the western side of the Tibbs Road sports field (this isn’t yet transferred to the parish council from the developer.)

We expect to start making plans for planting at the Grove once the open spaces are transferred to the parish council.

In the meantime, on Sunday 12th, 19th and 26th March we will be transporting woodchip from Snake moor and spreading it as a mulch around the new trees and hedging at the Tibbs Road sports field. Please come and give us a hand – details https://zeroch.org/tree-planting-dates/  We will be organising further working parties over the spring and summer to weed and maintain the trees we have planted and to pot on baby trees at our nursery.

We also have an exciting new project this year aiming to help residents plant a fruit tree in their own garden for a small donation.

With your help we feel confident in achieving our goal and reaching our target of doubling the tree cover in the village by 2030. This will not only help to reduce Haddenham’s carbon footprint but make the village a healthier and green place in which to live.

Please subscribe to our mailing list for news of up-and-coming events https://zeroch.org/zeroch-mailing-lists/

*Heart of Bucks is a community foundation that raises funds across Buckinghamshire to then distribute money directly to local causes. Heart of Bucks operate to ensure any form of philanthropy, whether from an individual or an organisation, is effective and brings the greatest benefit to those in need across Buckinghamshire. Since Heart of Bucks began in 2000, the charity has awarded £10m to local causes and are proud to be one of 47 members of UK Community Foundations.