| Nov 30, 2023
A King's Award, Wildflowers, Dragons and Trees
Children and nature... Who lives in this tree?
A KING'S AWARD!
We are absolutely delighted to be able to share with you that Andover Trees United has been awarded the highest accolade that can be granted to a charity in the UK - A Kings Award for Voluntary Service. This is testament to the incredible work done by the Trees Team volunteers - but we also have you to thank for your support and your donations, without which we would not be able to offer the service that we do.
We look forward to sharing news of the presentation itself, which is scheduled for next year. In the interim, we hope that you will follow the link below and read more about the award and what it means to the charity.
TREE SPIRITS, STORIES AND WILDFLOWERS - KEEPING YOUNG PEOPLE CONNECTED!
Our 10000 Children - 10000 Trees - For You project, which you so generously support, sets out to provide young people with both an emotional connection to and the means to learn about and care for our natural environment, through practical, hands-on experiences. To this end and thanks to the appointment of our Nature and Community Officers, we were able to run a summer holiday activities programme in August. Over a hundred children, young people and their parents imagined woodland spirits which they realised in clay, experimented with natural plant dyes, explored trees and wildflowers, listened to stories and experienced the magic of our beautiful Harmony Woods. We are especially proud of Matt and Natalia who, having started as youth volunteers and members of the junior ecology team, volunteered their time in the summer to support the Officers to run these activities and events.
It has also been exciting to welcome young tree planters and their teachers back to the wood to visit their trees and to plant out wildflowers that, with our help, they raised from seed sown earlier in the year. We hope to develop this into a larger project next year that will involve many more of our young tree planters and their families.
And of course, on September 21st, we once again joined Dr Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots teams across the world in celebrating the International Day of Peace 2023, bearing giant white doves through the wood, planting an Oak tree and hanging messages of peace on the trees.
THERE BE DRAGONS!
In our last report, we mentioned that we had started a community garden in the wood – a series of banks designed to represent the coils of a slumbering dragon, protector of the Earth. The Dragon Garden is a memorial to our friend Sandy and was lovingly sculpted by many hands over many weeks between July and September. Sandy was a practising Druid and, in mid-October, we were joined by members of his Grove who blessed the garden and the land in a moving ceremony that involved over fifty people of all ages, all of whom went on to sow wildflower seed and plant out 1000 plants that our volunteer team had raised from seed and nurtured over the spring and summer.
A beautiful dragon cake was shared whilst storyteller Amanda entertained us with her tale of the Wherwell Cockatrice, a dragon of local legend and one of Sandy’s favourites. You can read more about this very special event and enjoy photographs of the day by following the link below.
TREES AND BUCKETS, GLOVES AND BUSES!
YES... IT'S TIME FOR ANOTHER 1000 CHILDREN TO PLANT ANOTHER 1000 TREES!
It is eleven years since we first started this project and, as I write, we have just completed our twelfth tree plant… meaning that we have now worked with 12,000 local children and planted with them over 12,000 trees.
We are delighted to be working with Test Valley Borough Council again this year to help them to plant the copse – dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth II – that borders the new Bury Hill Wildflower and Nature Reserve. As in 2022, this has been the location for this year’s children’s tree plant and, thanks to your donations, we have been able to buy much-needed new gloves and buckets and hire the transport to take this year’s 1000 children to plant their trees. We really could not do what we do without you and we hope that you will continue to support us so that we can continue to do what we do.
So, all that remains for me to say, on behalf of everybody, is… THANK YOU!
Growing the next generation of nature leaders
Shaping the Dragon's back... Taking a break!
Children plant wildflowers around their Elm tree
First Harmony Woods tree planting of the season
The next 1000 children plant their next 1000 trees
2nd year at Bury Hill... more than 1000 more trees