The Community Tree Nursery
The Community Tree Nursery is located near the children’s playground, sheltered from the wind by the trees and buildings that surround it. Within its modest area, multiple raised beds can be found, all connected by a wide access path. All people should be able to enjoy the benefits that nature can offer and Thames Chase Trust is committed to continually improving our facilities to this end. This is a partnership project between Thames Chase Trust and Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme and has been funded by multiple partners including Thames Chase Trust, Mayor of London's Greener City Fund and National Lottery Heritage Fund (through Land of the Fanns Partnership Scheme).
The Community Tree Nursery isn’t just a haven for saplings however. We recognise the importance that insects have to play in food chains, life cycles and the overall ecology of an area. To this end, we have a bug hotel and log pile in the tree nursery, as well as a no pesticides policy. Pollinators are especially crucial, with bees being top of that list. To this end, the Community Tree Nursery is adjacent to several bee hives, owned and managed by the Romford Bee Keepers Association. These friendly little insects help to pollinate plants in the local area, whilst also providing delicious honey that you can purchase in the Forest Centre Shop.
Many of the saplings we grow will be planted into the Community Forest. Therefore, it is important that we plant tree species which fit into the existing natural and man-made landscape. The “right tree in the right place” thought process underpins what we do. A previously planted tree being removed would demonstrate we have not properly thought through our project.
At Thames Chase Trust, we focus on planting native tree species, individuals which are naturally found in the United Kingdom. However, we also plant some naturalised specimens, individuals which have been introduced to the U.K, but have since spread and are found naturally in the environment, where they are not damaging to native species.
You can find out more about what species we plant either at the Forest Centre reception, ask our Community Tree Nursery and Engagement Officer, or one of our Community Tree Nursery volunteers.
Engagement with the Community Tree Nursery
There are many ways anyone can get involved with the Community Tree Nursery at the Forest Centre. We have a weekly and monthly volunteering group, which cares for the saplings and manages many aspects of the tree nursery. If you would like to join this fun, friendly and future-facing group then please get in contact.
We can also run birthday parties, so your little ones can have a fun few hours outside; helping look after the saplings, learning about trees and playing some games along the way!
Youth groups can also hire the tree nursery for engagement sessions, working towards Scout or Guiding badges, general volunteering or just to mix things up and have a change of scenery.
Schools are more than welcome to take part as well. Working with the Thames Chase Forest Centre, the Community Tree Nursery can be a part of a day of activities to educate and engage larger groups. For school sessions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01708 642970.
For youth groups, birthday parties and volunteering, please contact Alex Hewitt at email@example.com, or ring 01708 642973 during office hours.
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