Volunteers plant 4,000 trees amid climate crisis

Tree planting at Burymead Springs Nature Reserve in Hitchin

Native species including oak, silver birch and hazel have been planted - Credit: Simon Maddison

More than 4,000 trees have been planted in just three days, in a bid to help tackle the climate crisis.

Over the weekend, more than 60 volunteers gathered together to create four mini forests on land next to Burymead Springs Nature Reserve, on the northern edge of Hitchin.

The project, organised by the charity Dream for Trees, had been in preparation for a year and was supported by the land owner, Bruce Parker, the charity Protect Earth, and Hitchin Forum.

Planting mini forests uses the Miyawaki method. Nick Moss, of Dream for Trees, explained: “Tree saplings are planted at very high density, where they grow very fast to compete for the light. Then natural selection favours the fastest growing and the trees thin out. This method, used all over the world, results in a densely-packed pioneer forest that grows in 20 to 30 years, instead of 150 to 200."

In total, 12 native species - including silver birch, oak and hazel - have been planted.

Hitchin volunteer Christopher Sykes said: “We had a great turnout, with families and people of all ages doing the planting.

"This is a small local contribution to tackling the climate crisis, supporting wildlife and enhancing an area well-used by people for walking and exercise.”