Burgess Hill English Oak
This is one of The Tree Council’s 60 educational tree planting schemes with children that
were inspired by the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Each tree, provided by The Tree
Council, was chosen and planted by volunteers in the community.
National Tree Week began in an unpromising manner in Burgess Hill, West Sussex. It was dull, dreary and wet. The ground was sodden and the Wealden clay was slippery and squelchy. But we were going to plant our special Jubilee Diamond Tree on 29th November 2012 whatever the weather!
We hoped the sun would shine but were satisfied with a dry morning as children from four nursery schools were coming to help with the planting in St John’s Park. They had been busy drawing trees, making leaf prints, singing songs and telling stories about our wonderful trees that grow so well in the south-east. A lovely display of their work was on show at The Burgess Hill Town Council Help Point.
The weather was improving when the Town Mayor, Chris Thomas-Atkin, the Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, Mandy Thomas-Atkin, Tree Wardens and others arrived for the Jubilee planting ceremony. Most importantly, Burgess Hill Town Council’s Mobile Maintenance Team came, armed with spades ready to dig the large hole in the heavy clay for our special tree.
Ten-thirty was approaching fast but, where were the children? Then, from the four corners of the park we spotted tiny figures making their way across the muddy, squelchy grass. Now the group was complete.
We all listened to a few short speeches and then finally our Jubilee Diamond Tree was planted. Many people volunteered to put a little soil around the roots, including little tots of three and four years, with help from grown-ups to manage the heavy spades.
The children certainly enjoyed themselves and we hope that in 60 years’ time they will be able to say to their children: “We helped to plant this Jubilee Diamond Tree and remember Queen Elizabeth II who did so much for our country”.
l The hornbeam that was initially planted was damaged soon after the event but, because of the importance of the occasion being marked, was replaced immediately, this time by an English oak, which is now flourishing.
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. The Mayor, Chris Thomas-Atkin, prepares a shovelful of soil.
- 2. Planting the Diamond Jubilee tree.
- 3. Displays created by Tudor House Montessori Groups (Tudor House, Rosebud, Lavender Lodge) and TiggyWigs Children’s Day Nursery to celebrate the occasion.
- 4. Displays created by Tudor House Montessori Groups (Tudor House, Rosebud, Lavender Lodge) and TiggyWigs Children’s Day Nursery to celebrate the occasion.