We are delighted to have partnered with the Hampshire Forest Partnership to help it reach its goal of planting 1 million trees before 2050.
A step towards that goal came when 75 trees donated by the Partnership were planted at the Trust. The trees, in their infant stage, were planted by some young nature enthusiasts visiting us on the day, who joined our team to carefully position them in the ground.
Elliot, Lewis, Harry and Emily each planted a tree which will grow to form a hedgerow along the new John Ellicock Outdoor Classroom. The hedgerow is made of a mixture of Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel, Elder, Dogwood, Crab Apple and Field Maple.
Our CEO, Penny Smout, said: “It was really important that young people were invited to plant these trees in a space which will hopefully inspire and be used by thousands of pupils and students to learn about the importance of birds of prey and their habitats. Trees and hedgerows are key to some species as a foraging habitat and for roosting. We were so delighted that Elliot, Lewis, Harry and Emily each planted a tree and wrote their name on the tree guard. We hope each of them visit the Trust many times in the future to watch them grow.”
The tree planting is the start of an ongoing partnership between the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the Hampshire Forest Partnership, working together to educate about the important relationship between trees, birds of prey and the wider ecosystem; providing learning resources to educate both in the classroom and around the site at the Trust.
Councillor Russell Oppenheimer, the County Council’s Executive Member for Countryside and Regulatory Services said “the Hampshire Forest Partnership is all about bringing people, organisations and communities together to learn about and enjoy their environment and help us to deliver our target of planting one million trees across the county by 2050. We are delighted to be working with the Hawk Conservancy Trust to help in their efforts to conserve our beautiful birds of prey and plant more trees to support this excellent endeavour”.
The John Ellicock Outdoor Classroom, named in memory of our former Director and long-standing, close supporter of the Trust who sadly passed away in 2022, was also part-funded by the Loddon and Test LEADER Programme and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The outdoor classroom will provide a dedicated venue for schools that come to the Trust for educational visits and workshops. It offers a sheltered hub for students to use as a base for their visit. The engaging space can be used for presentations, workshops, talks, activities and storage. Facilities include AV equipment for presentations, sinks for hand washing, and there is also include a garden area where students can engage with wildlife and interpretation to highlight what can be seen. Equipment such as microscopes will really bring students close to nature.
We are so thrilled to be working with the Hampshire Forest Partnership to plant more trees over the coming decades and help conserve birds of prey. The Hampshire Forest Partnership – coordinated by Hampshire County Council – aims to support residents and organisations to plant more trees to ensure a legacy for future generations to enjoy in line with the County Council’s Tree Strategy which was published in 2020. Find out more about the initiative here.