COMMUNITY volunteers will come together to plant hundreds of new saplings in Palmer Park next week.
On Wednesday 18th and Saturday 21st December, volunteers will plant 800 new whips on land behind Palmer Park Stadium to restore the area’s wildlife corridor. The section of land will be nurtured over time, with help and engagement from volunteers, to encourage biodiversity and to give the young trees as big a chance as possible of developing.
The planting has been organised by The Conservation Volunteers in partnership with Cultivation Field (run by artist Kate Corder) and local communities and with the support of Reading Council’s parks team.
Councillor Karen Rowland, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m looking forward to getting my wellies on next week to help create the new wildlife corridor at Palmer Park alongside volunteers from the local community.
“This planting is an extremely positive move towards knitting back together the critical Council-volunteer relationships needed to tackle our climate emergency. We all want the best for our environment and I’m pleased our volunteers have set out this solution, which we are delighted to support. We can now move forward for the good of the park and the future of our precious wildlife. The area will be designated as a bio-diversity area for the park and will be called the Cultivation Field Wildlife Corridor at the request of local volunteers. I hope that this is the beginning of many more wildlife corridors throughout the town as we tackle our climate emergency together.
“We are also aware of a project by Scottish & Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) to lay a new high voltage cable along the edges of Palmer Park to carry additional lines to areas south of the Park. This will be starting soon and run near to the Cultivation Field Wildlife Corridor. I’d like to reassure the local community we’ll be working with SSEN to ensure this project doesn’t impact on the new planting.”
To find out more and take part, visit the TCV website (Volunteers will need to sign up in advance):
•Planting date 18th December 2019: www2.tcv.org.uk/cgi-bin/volunteer/activity-details?id=31859;date=20191218
•Planting date 21st December 2019: www2.tcv.org.uk/cgi-bin/volunteer/activity-details?id=31918;date=20191221
Reading Borough Council declared a Climate Change Emergency earlier this year, committing to a carbon neutral town by 2030. Over the past decade the Council has planted over 2,002 new trees across the borough.
Cllr Karen Rowland and Council parks officers met with key community volunteer representatives on Friday 22 November to provide a swift response to the accidental clearance of saplings in Palmer Park during a recent clearance of undergrowth.
The Council has also agreed to provide six additional semi-mature trees in other suitable locations around the park, which will take place in the New Year.
As part of a separate project by Scottish & Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) to upgrade the high voltage (HV) power supply to Reading, a new HV cable is to be laid along the edges of Palmer Park near to the location of the new planting. The Council will be working closely with SSEN to ensure the project is carried out sensitively and to limit any potential impact on the new wildlife corridor.