Hainault Forest grows!
What a fortnight we had down at Hainault Forest at the tail end of last year. 2 weeks of planting events came and went in National Tree Week and all corners of the East London area came out in support. Over 10,000 trees were planted in total with the help of almost 1000 individuals.
The second extension to Hainault Forest set out to replant half of Havering Park Farm, a model Victorian farm that was created after the Disafforestation of Hainault in 1851. Huge swathes of the forest were torn down to feed an expanding London and we have been ‘reclaiming’ parts of this lost forest since taking over management. This extension now sees us along with our neighbours Vision Redbridge encircling Hainault Golf Course.
The tree planting events were kicked off by the Worshipful Mayor of Redbridge who broke the first ground for our planting season and got the ball rolling on the following onslaught of events. We then had days planting with Countryfile, 2 days with Lloyds, the FC popped in but the piece de resistance were two large community planting days. With some logistical manoeuvring from a local minibus firm and our team with walkie talkies, Forest Safaris brought hundreds to our planting area.
We had community groups from near and far in attendance, special shout outs go to the Ahmadiyya Women’s community who attended both days from local groups but further across London as well on their pursuit of planting 100,000 trees for their 100th anniversary. I’m sure others will have already come across their tenacity for planting. We had a Jain school, the Minhaj Welfare society, a synagogue, Ahmadiyya Youth and many other locals and local groups. It was a valiant effort from everyone in the central region to keep up with the demand for tree planting.
Many thanks to everyone involved it was an incredible team effort, and I believe we made lots of new connections for people with the Forest. Hopefully many will come back and visit our new visitor centre when it opens later this year when they come and check on their trees.
George Lewis (Hainault Development Officer)
Image credit: Judith Parry