Green dreams of Wiltshire Tree People

Wiltshire Times: Great Chalfield Manor Great Chalfield Manor

A little known organisation in Wiltshire has been doing its bit to enhance the environment by planting trees.

Since starting 15 years ago, Wiltshire Tree People has planted hundreds, if not thousands of trees. It was founded by former Bishop of Ramsbury John Neale, of Corsham.

It is not a charity, it is non-profit making and its 45 members make donations.

Current chairman Sir Thomas Morison, who lives near Devizes, has been a member since 1999. The president is Lord Lansdowne of Bowood House He said: “I think it’s a remarkable organisation. Our administration is efficient and negligible. We are a small, informal organisation and what we do is terribly beneficial to the environment.”

The vast majority of the trees planted by Wiltshire Tree People are in Wiltshire. About a year ago it made a donation for a nursery to be planted in Rwanda.

It was particularly active in 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and gave a donation to enable between 400 and 500 trees to be planted at Great Chalfield Manor near Melksham, planted a tree in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral and one in the grounds of Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Potterne.

Excluding the trees at Great Chalfield Manor, it planted 40 trees during the Diamond Jubilee years including at a number of schools.

Sir Thomas said: “We chose schools because we want children to be interested in trees.”

Wiltshire Tree People have planted different species of trees including oak, elm and fruit trees.

The latest tree planting was of a hornbeam on The Green in Devizes in November 2013 to commemorate the birth of Prince George.

Sir Thomas added: “Trees are important because they absorb excess carbon. They are good for the environment, they are pretty and there is something everlasting about them. They don’t last forever but by planting one you are doing something for the next generation rather than for yourself. That is, I think, satisfactory.”

Wiltshire Tree People would like new members to join and for more information visit www.wiltshiretreepeople.com or contact Julia Rowell on 01249701350.

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